I am yet to meet someone that doesn’t like Lemonade. The band and the beverage. Well, that might be pushing it a bit. I’m not all to keen on the drink. I played Lemonade’s recently released sophomore LP Diver to a friend the other week, who exclusively listens to ska and reggae I may add, and even she wanted me to burn her a copy. Of course, I informed her that that was illegal and pointed her in the direction of the nearest record shop. Of course. My point being is that Lemonade’s eclectic blend of dance-floor-ready pop and swooning RnB will win over just about anyone.
Last month the San Francisco-born, Brooklyn-based three-piece released their second full-length to date, titled Diver. After their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2008 and the follow up Pure Moods EP in 2010, I was enthusiastically anticipating Diver to see where the band would take their sound. Their first was an exuberant dance record centered around upbeat, busy drum beats with psychedelic house and world influences. Yet Diver sees the band hone their song writing abilities and is all in all a more sophisticated collection of songs. There is more of a focus on melody and catchy synth hooks, rather than the ramshackle dance orientated tracks on their debut.
So it was back to White Heat at Madame JoJo’s in Soho for Lemonade’s first London date in three years. As is with all live shows, the band were considerably late to come on, which only served to heighten the expectation of the crowd. When they finally took to the stage, vocalist Callan Clendenin beckoned those caught unawares at the bar, who believed they had time to grab another beer, to make their way to the dance floor for LP opener ‘Infinite Style’. As Clendenin cooed the line ‘Ecstatic Impressions, overwhelm my senses sometimes’, I knew what he was getting at. They continued with the bouyant pace of ‘Infinite Style’ into ‘Ice Water’, with percussionist Alex Pasternak leading the dancing with brute force and wild moves. The evening highlight, however, was their cool, ice-y sleek RnB hit ‘Neptune’, the first single off Diver. A love song about infidelity on both sides, yet the crowd that came out to see Lemonade at Madame JoJo’s certainly didn’t feel cheated. A fine performance and one that I’m sure they will imitate for those lucky enough to win tickets for Converse’s Represent series at 100 Club in August, supporting SBTRKT and John Talabot no less.
Diver is out now via True Panther Sounds. http://www.truepanther.com/store/releases/diver