For early followers of Lime Cordiale, this debut album has been a long time coming.
Since 2012, brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach have released three EPs – the latest, Road to Paradise, in 2015 – and since then, they’ve been writing, recording and refining the sound that’s won them a seriously dedicated fanbase over the course of half a decade.
But refining doesn’t mean streamlining, and for the long-awaited Permanent Vacation, they’ve expanded their influences even further, and in some fascinating directions.
The Sydney duo has spent most of 2017 in the studio with producer Dave Hammer (Washington, Thundamentals, Born Lion) where they’ve had time to explore and experiment in a way that they haven’t been able to before. The result is a very varied record, and if you’ve been struggling to put this band in a neat genre box so far, this is going to make that even tougher, which is by no means a bad thing.
Single ‘Temper Temper’ proves one of the album’s early highlights
At first, I might come off as a bit schizophrenic – it’s poppy, rocky, groovy; up-tempo and danceable one moment, laid back and beachy the next. But the more you listen, the more you notice all of those little details that tie the tunes together. The playful strings and brass that are scattered throughout the record; the layered complexity of every track.
Opener ‘Naturally’ starts things off without too much fuss, but it’s the appearance of up-tempo single ‘Temper Temper’ that fires up your dancing shoes, a theme continued by the incredibly groovy bassline on ‘Underground’, and the smooth, almost disco-like strains of ‘Giving Yourself Over’.
‘Is He Your Man’ explodes into a wailing chorus that is very likely to play over and over in your head the rest of the day, as does the otherwise drowsy, spoken word-y ‘What Is Growing Up’ – a tune that is about doing the exact opposite.
Latest single ‘Risky Love’ is more downbeat, but no less enthralling
The step up from EP to album format has made space for slower, darker tunes like the brilliant new single ‘Risky Love’, string and piano heartbreaker ‘Walk Over Everything I Do’, and the anthemic, blues-soul closer ‘Top Of My List’. A handful of tunes like the dreamy ‘Up In The Air’ and beach soundtrack ‘Can I Be Your Lover’ that don’t stand out as strongly, but even these certainly aren’t hard on the ears.
The strength of Permanent Vacation doesn’t lie in its ability to present as a perfectly cohesive album – because it doesn’t – but in the quality of the individual songs. The playfulness that permeates them. The way they feel familiar, but in an oddly indeterminable way. And in how much they will give back to you, if you give them your full attention.
They kept us all waiting a long time for this one, but Lime Cordiale have made it very hard to be mad at them.
Lime Cordiale’s debut album Permanent Vacation is out now through Chugg Music, and you can grab a copy here. The band also head off on their national tour from October 27 to December 8 – dates below.
Lime Cordiale ‘Permanent Vacation’ album launch tour
Friday, 27th October
Amplifier Bar, Perth
Saturday, 28th October
Saturday, 4th November
UniBar, Adelaide (Licensed AA)
Friday, 10th November
Workers Club, Geelong
Saturday, 11th November
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Sunday, 12th November
Wrangler Studios, Melbourne (U18)
Thursday, 16th November
Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (FREE ENTRY)
Friday, 17th November
The Brightside, Brisbane
Saturday, 18th November
The Brightside, Brisbane (U18 matinee)
Saturday, 18th November
Sol Bar, Maroochydore
Thursday, 23rd November
Friday, 24th November
Transit Bar, Canberra
Saturday, 25th November
Metro Theatre, Sydney (Licensed AA)
Friday, 1st December
Republic Bar, Hobart
Saturday, 2nd December
Club 54, Launceston
Friday, 8th December
Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville