The grey days of February burn off with each note that seeps out of Ben Auld’s debut, Lemongrass. The UK songwriter mixes sunshine pop with lilting seeds of Canyon Country and aughts indie that stretches its strings from Tweedy to Kweller with a few stops in between. Auld’s songs are simply set, but sweetly orchestrated, taking his home recordings and late night studio sessions and letting them bloom into sweater-wrapped sources of solace. With a bittersweet glow emanating from the record, Auld’s songs filter through an AM psych-pop haze, giving the songs a touch of nostalgia while aiming for a touch of the timeless.
Auld has a knack for turning sighed odes to the quaint niceties of love into more than just precious aural tchotchke. With a glaze of gauze on the vocals, smeared sun on the keys and a tender, melancholic touch in the acoustic strums, the record captures heartbreak and hope beaming through his sun catcher refractions of pop. Auld’s youth shows at the edges, particularly in some of the wide-eyed lyrics, but paired with his heartfelt arrangements this becomes a promising debut that swaths the soul.