Five albums in and The Lemon Twigs are now, more than ever, striking a chord with a wider audience. Twitter was filled, not with gory videos or blue tick wonderbrains, but for once with rightful applause for an excellent album. Everything Harmony is the album in question, and for those effectively later than most to the party, it is still worth playing again and again. From its stylish cover to the deeper cuts of this fifth album comes a tremendous, homely feel as though The Lemon Twigs were single-handedly resurrecting an entire decade of music. Such is the power of Everything Harmony, a sincere shock to the core and heart. Is this soft rock? Or is it a traipse through the music which defines and spells out their sound? The latter, surely.
With harmonies of a Beach Boys quality on opener When Winter Comes Around and an aesthetic which draws up the Neil Young and other counter-culture styles of the time, The Lemon Twigs are of the here and now but rely heavily on their influences. Honesty when it comes to who inspires them is rather welcoming, a considered move which seeps into their musical choices and styles. Everything Harmony is uniquely fresh, as the clusters of instrumental work on In My Head prove. Trying to excavate further into the 1960s aesthetic, Corner Of My Eye shines a light on the brotherly duo’s fine range and pitch. Brian and Michael D’Addario come through this piece, hitting the shuffle on their pastiche and making good on the intimate nostalgia for a period never lived but experienced through some of the best records around.
Dreamy collections of inspired instrumentals are drummed up on What You Were Doing, another high point which sees the brothers make the most of echoing percussion, thick basslines and the lucid baroque nature which lends itself so handily to their work here. Everything Harmony does nothing to escape its retro-refitting style and hopes to coast along with it. Accepting this is half the battle, and the familiarity through new and moving tracks is, to some degree, the same filtration put through biopics on the big screen. The Lemon Twigs are affable in their intent though and it makes for an open experience, brought together nicely by the piano and horn arrangements of I Don’t Belong to Me, the wistful ambiguity of the title matched with a fitting flutter between new ideas and revered instruments long forgotten by listeners of the here and now.
Euphoric courage comes about on What Happens to a Heart, and from there it feels as though The Lemon Twigs aren’t real. How can they be? This is the equivalent of discovering Dreamin’ Wild, some unsung former flame of the real era. But The Lemon Twigs are the here and now, and they rightly rattle the cage with their latest release of persuasive half-tribute, half-triumphant songs of the 60s. Make no mistake, for all the comparisons and draws The Lemon Twigs take, it feels sincere enough to work, and work it does. Everything Harmony is a flashback to a genre still relevant, still pioneering and still listened to by a new generation. Bridging the gap, slowly and surely, are The Lemon Twigs with a rare flicker of near-perfection in an album inspired by some of the all-time greats. It surpasses some of them once they shed the initial 60s cover band feel. That feeling does not last long.