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Alternative & Indie - Released October 14, 2016 | 4AD

The D'Addario brothers, Michael and Brian, must have grown up on a steady diet of oddball singer/songwriters and weird '70s pop, absorbing it like it was candy until they were able to create their own strange and wonderful version that merrily blended the two styles until they became one crazy one. They started their group, the Lemon Twigs, when they were teens and caught the ear of someone at 4AD, who decided the public was ready for two flamboyantly dressed prodigies who thought the idea of Sparks playing Nilsson songs or Todd Rundgren covering the Randy Newman songbook was a good idea. Actually, it turns out to be a great idea and their debut album, Do Hollywood, is the sound of a couple young guys (plus very sympathetic producer Jonathan Rado of Foxygen) letting it all hang out over the course or ten surprising, thrilling, infuriating, instantly memorable songs. The brothers share all the musical and vocal duties to the point where it feels like the work of one bedroom-bound space case intent on defying expectations at every turn. Within the course of one song (take "As Long as We're Together" as an example), one can find soul-baring lyrics, glass-cracking falsettos, uplifting choruses, rinky-dink synths, left-field tempo changes, unexpected instruments, and simply strummed acoustic guitars. Add in some AOR-ready guitar soloing and production choices that sound selected at random from a list of so-bad-that-they're-good ideas, and one has a basic idea of what might be found on Do Hollywood. It's both breathtakingly refreshing that the brothers don't play anything straight and a puzzling pain in the neck when they do something wacky that they might not have needed to do. Some of the tracks are so nice and pretty that it's wrenching when they throw in a sped-up circus marching band or a proggy synth diversion. Then again, how many more records overloaded with earnest singer/songwriter tropes can the world take before it drowns in a flood of grey-tinted introspective diary entries? No worries of that here; these guys are too nuts to ever be boring or average. At their best, they are capable of creating songs that take off like jet planes at dusk ("Hi+Lo"), strut wobbly like Paul Williams on a bender ("I Wanna Prove to You"), and hit the perfect spot between heartbreakingly sweet and just plain odd. The record's best tune, "Baby, Baby," is one of these and it sounds like a cross between the Muppets and vintage Flaming Lips. The few moments on the record when the brothers push it a bit too far, like the annoyingly quirky "Those Days Is Comin' Soon," are outweighed by those when they sound like the best thing to come along since the bands they so clearly idolize. It may only be their debut, but the boys of the Lemon Twigs sound like they've got it all figured out. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 14, 2016 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2018 | 4AD

When the Lemon Twigs' 2016 debut Do Hollywood arrived, it sounded like a weird dream where an even more over-the-top Sparks covered Harry Nilsson. If the band sounded like they were raised on musical theater and power pop, it's because they were, with brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario born to '70s multi-instrumentalist/songwriter father Ronnie D'Addario and musician mother Susan Hall, who helped them realize their young dreams as child actors. With parents that introduced them early on to dazzling rock & roll and Broadway musicals, the glam-infused pop sound that materialized by the time the teenagers started making records of their own is no surprise. Do Hollywood followed a similar framework of bite-sized references to classic rock as Foxygen, whose Jonathan Rado produced the album. With sophomore album Go to School, the brothers take that blueprint to even more ambitious heights, presenting the album as a musical following the loose storyline of a chimp raised by human parents. If this weren't an outlandish enough place to start, Go to School takes every outrageous impulse as far as possible, infusing glam theatrics, musical theater camp, and even guest appearances from power pop legends into already crowded maximalist pop songs. The record charges out of the gates with Bat Out of Hell intensity with "Never in My Arms, Always in My Heart," melodramatic glockenspiel and bratty lead vocals telling a story of lovers unable to have children and setting the scene for the winding storyline that follows over the next 14 tracks. Those paying close enough attention will be able to follow the storyline and cast of characters, but there's enough to enjoy in the sheer scope of ambition these songs offer. Todd Rundgren (playing one of the adoptive parents of the chimp) sings on the raging "Rock Dreams" as well as the jumpy '70s rock-modeled "Never Know." Big Star drummer Jody Stephens drums on "The Student Becomes the Teacher," one of a few moments on Go to School that reflects the massive influence of Big Star. "Queen of My School" lands in near-tribute territory, with the Twigs embodying the production and vocal style of Alex Chilton with hints of Dwight Twilley for good measure. The album shifts between modes of overblown '70s-rock delight as with these songs or standout songs like "The Fire," and moves into more orchestral, Broadway-inspired moments like "Born Wrong/Heart Song" or the syrupy ballad "If You Give Enough." Much as they've committed entirely to the detail-obsessed throwback weirdness of their first album, Lemon Twigs commit wholeheartedly to the bizarre narrative that Go to School is built on. Leaving no ridiculous tangent or exaggerated flourish unexplored, the result is a larger-than-life spectacle grown from strange but excellent songwriting. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 27, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2017 | 4AD

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While we’re waiting for a proper second album, The Lemon Twigs are releasing this EP with six songs composed and recorded on their eight-track recorder in New York in 2015, shortly after recording their first album Do Hollywood, most of which has already been performed live. The D’Addario brothers – Brian, 20 years old, and Michael, 18 years old – see Brothers Of Destruction as “the last chapter of their Do Hollywood era”. Both style and substance sail through familiar waters, at the crossroads of the Beach Boys (Why Didn't You Say That?, Night Song), the Kinks (So Fine) and the Beatles (Beautiful). Making something new out of something old is one thing. But it is quite another to consistently pull compositions of this calibre out the bag. The young D’Addarios undeniably impress with the maturity of their writing. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2017 | 4AD

While we’re waiting for a proper second album, The Lemon Twigs are releasing this EP with six songs composed and recorded on their eight-track tape in New York in 2015, shortly after recording their first album Do Hollywood, most of which have already been performed live. The D’Addario brothers – Brian, 20 years old, and Michael, 18 years old – see Brothers Of Destruction as “the last chapter of their Do Hollywood era”. Both style and substance sail through familiar waters, at the crossroads of the Beach Boys (Why Didn't You Say That?, Night Song), the Kinks (So Fine) and the Beatles (Beautiful). Making something new out of something old is one thing. But it is quite another to consistently pull compositions of this calibre out the bag. The young D’Addarios undeniably impress with the maturity of their writing. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 7, 2016 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 28, 2018 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - To be released August 21, 2020 | 4AD

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Alternative & Indie - To be released August 21, 2020 | 4AD

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The Lemon Twigs in the magazine