Ok I’ll level, at my heart I’m a sucker for bubblegum pop. The most sugar-shacked Archies tunes, Josie & The Pussycats (the ‘60s version), bands named after monkeys, bands made of monkeys (Lancelot Link), I’ve got a soft spot that will forever be connected a childhood obsession with out-of-date Nick at Night reruns that pulled me into the kind of pop that’s supposed to be disposable but never truly seems that way. The members of Chicago’s loose-knit, campfire sing-a-long ensemble The Lemons understand these impulses and with each new album they capture something that’s inherently bubblegum, but also mirrors the idea of friends singing along to those songs at the top of their lungs. Their last record was quite literally a house party recording of friends just belting out tunes with the kind of earnestness that’s sometimes hard to dig out paired with melodies that just lodge themselves right between the synapses and stay there.
They follow that record up with an imaginary pirate radio broadcast hovering somewhere over the Atlantic, broadcast by the ghosts of Sid and Marty Krofft bounced off of a layer of the ionosphere dedicated to Kasenetz and Katz. This time they’ve bumped up the fidelity from house party four track to a glossed glow of pop that captures the Brill Building parking lot takes of the originals. It bursts through the wall with the infectious intentions of a ghostwritten pop nugget, the energy of a birthday card jingle, and the staying power of a coveted 45 dug out of thrift shop purgatory and crammed onto every mixtape imaginable. The band lets their ‘60s divining rod swing through as many fashionable styles as their inspirations — hopping from ‘60s jangles and hippy folk-pop to the ‘80s synth-hangovers that were still chewing on the gummed up melodies of their youth. If Wyatt Blair’s spot-on synthesis, Mikah Wilson’s out-of-time gems, or the sadly underloved bubblegum album from The Dirtbombs have fed your speakers in the past, WLMN is an assured pickup.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.