Article by KevW
There are albums which hit you upon first listen, wowing you with their charm instantly, while others can take several plays before the goodness that lies within is truly revealed. The debut from Lionlimb manages to impress right away, and also continues to grow and become seemingly richer over time, and this is surely the mark of an album that's built to withstand the test of time. Stewart Bronaugh and Joshua Jaeger (who are also members of Angel Olsen's band) began writing 'Shoo' in 2012, with piano and drums gradually being built upon with layers of sound. These layers would eventually be peeled back to create the record we can hear today.
'Shoo' is something of a musical stew, rich and thick with ideas that are influenced by jazz, rock and soul amongst other things. It's difficult not to be reminded of vintage Stevie Wonder or Curtis Mayfield at times, with a heavy use of a Fender Rhodes lending a classic vibe. 'God Knows' is both chilled and powerful, with loose, big beats, flashes of guitar and a relaxed, soulful vocal style. It's very much a blueprint for what follows, although there's no formula as such. There are also echoes of Miles Davis and certain Beatles and Frank Zappa tracks to be found on the album (some of the guitar breaks could be from George Harrison).
Lionlimb combine these retro stylings with more recent big beat and even trip-hop production (think early Portishead). It's a heady brew of different influences but never appears muddled, and single 'Domino' is a prime example. Another single, 'Turnstile', in a real treat, using chilled brass and frazzled guitar interludes to whip up a comparative sonic storm and really shows the duo's genre-blending vision at its best. You could throw a dart at this album and find a potential single though, from the potent mix of 'Ride', through the jazzy vibe of 'Tinman' (which is what Broken Bells have been trying to sound like for the past few years), the bouncing 'Lemonade' and the laid-back 'Crossroad'. 'Shoo' is really an album that deserves to be heard and will likely hit the right notes with fans of many different styles thanks to its musical cross-pollination. A warm wonderland of aural delights.
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