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Lionlimb: Shoo

Lionlimb - Shoo
Even the most tone deaf among us will have noticed the influence on the current indie rock scene of a certain strain of early-1970s pop – think Nilsson, Todd Rundgren, Randy Newman: grown-up, clever studio-born music that combined complex baroque arrangements and a laid-back, rootsy warmth. Nashville duo Lionlimb smartly set themselves apart from the rest of that particular pack with their debut album Shoo, which updates the sound by coupling it with head-nodding, organic crate-digger rhythms and somehow manages to avoid sounding forced or gimmicky; indeed, whilst project mastermind Stewart Bronaugh and drummer Joshua Jaeger both serve in gothic country-punk songstress Angel Olsen’s touring band, the effortless funk with which they imbue their ditties could see them mistaken for old-skool Stax session players. But despite employing enough sax, Fender Rhodes and wah-wah pedals to keep the most ardent jazz fusion fan happy, Shoo isn’t all about slinky grooves. The longest shadow cast over proceedings belongs to Elliott Smith, and not just because Bronaugh bears such an uncanny resemblance to Smith vocally that the latter’s hardcore faithful might just believe he has returned from the dead: the likes of “Domino” and “Lemonade” call to mind the balance of hushed, slightly overawed melancholy and peppy songwriting that characterised much of the singer’s work while album highlight “Turnstile”, with its acid-fried psych-soul fuzz and depictions of love as a series of emotional scuffs and scraped knees, encourages the listener to imagine an alternative and altogether happier ending to Smith’s tragic real life ballad of Big Nothing. A punchy, playful record, then, but a bruised and infinitely soulful one too, and one of the best debut albums in quite some time.
Shoo is out now on Bayonet Records; check out “Turnstile” below.


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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