Forget what people say about the sophomore album, I think album number three is more of a concern. A killer second album (and Lemuria’s ‘Pebble’ certainly falls into this category) can breed complacency. Two great albums down and you’re officially great as a band. Lemuria were just that, great, from 2008’s ‘Get Better’, through 2011’s ‘Pebble’, and until June 17th when this album drops in the UK they will be great. ‘The Distance Is So Big’, mixes things up a little, being so blindingly fantastic that the Buffalo trio have hit a whole new level of brilliance.
‘The Distance Is So Big’ is absolutely a Lemuria record at heart. With incredible vocal hooks and upbeat melody in spades immediately on show from the very first second of lead single ‘Brilliant Dancer’, a wide smiling sing-along waiting to happen. Both vocalists (Sheena Ozzella and Alex Kerns) put in perfect performances throughout and musically this album is just so much bigger in sound than either of the band’s previous full lengths. The middle section of ‘Congratulations Sex’ is devastatingly well written, whilst ‘Oahu, Hawaii’ includes strings without ever straying into the strange and awkward. This track, immediately followed by another indie/pop/punk/emo/whatever we’re calling Lemuria these days track in the form of ‘Chihuly’, makes it seem at this midway point that the three-piece can do no wrong.
I might be expected to follow this up with another angle, something to say that in 2013 Lemuria are fallible, that track thirteen is just egotistical rubbish for example. Unfortunately for the graduate in me who’s a little desperate to avoid sounding too one sided, this just can’t happen. Track thirteen as it happens is the closer, ‘Ruby’, and it’s yet another wonderful piece from a band who can do no wrong right now.
‘The Distance Is So Big’ is a collection of songs that sound like those recorded by a band who knew exactly what they wanted to make and why they wanted to make it – and I’m so happy that they did.
‘The Distance Is So Big’ by Lemuria is out now on Bridge 9 Records.
Words by Tom Knott (@nounandthenouns)