Review by Tony Rounce

There’s no doubt about it – Cambridge’s Lemondaze are most definitely LOUD WOMEN (and a man). Their music is all about volume, coming at you as a huge tsunami of thick, fuzzy sound with ethereal vocals that draw the listener in like some sort of lysergically-laced siren’s call.  It doesn’t feature big anthemic choruses or hooky riffs, but the Lemondaze sound is one big aural seduction that it’s very easy to fall deeply in love with. 

Currently a three piece with no permanent drummer, Isis, Rosie and Jonty have aligned themselves with the shoegaze end of the musical spectrum. Personally I think they are so much more than that. For me they are the genuine successors to the great Cambridge psychedelic bands of the mid 60s, such as the somewhat obscure Forever Amber and the somewhat more famous Pink Floyd

I raved about their last but one single ‘Neon Ballroom’ in these very pages almost 18 months ago, and would have been similarly enthused about their current one ‘Art Form’ last month had I not forgotten to file my review (can I get off the naughty step now, Cassie?)  However the latter reappears as one of four tracks on the trio’s first digital EP “Celestial Bodies” and my enthusiasm has not abated in the two or three weeks since it first came into my life.

The EP itself is a mixture of new and slightly older material. The stunning opener and live favourite ‘Twin Paradox’ first saw the light of day on a almost two years ago on a flexi-disc. The version here in ‘Celestial Bodies’ is more than a minute longer, which is something to be very pleased about as it means we get more of Isis de Chatelain’s celestial whisper wafting in, around and out of Rosie Heard-Edwards’ sublimely executed, relentless guitar drone. It’s followed by the aforementioned ‘Art Form’, a title that accurately describes the track’s near 6 minutes of audacious creativity. You won’t be able to sing along with it in the shower, but t will stay in your mind long after the last notes die away.  ‘1990 Nine’ and ‘Io’ (pronounced ‘eye-oh’ rather than ten!) offer two further musical mind excursions that sound as hypnotically compelling here as they do or will when normal live service resumes shortly…

If Syd-era Floyd had merged with psychotic 70s synth-driven New Yorkers Suicide and then recruited Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins to be their singer, the end product might have come out sounding something like this. Although I feel that the full Lemondaze experience is best enjoyed live,  “Celestial Bodies” captures their stage sound admirably, and reinforces the opinion held by this reviewer that they are among the most exciting (and LOUD) bands to come along in the last 5 years…

“Celestial Bodies” was released on May 7th and is available (along with other Lemondaze music and merch) via Bandcamp and also on Spotify. You can follow Lemondaze on Facebook and Instagram.  They play a socially distanced release party for the EP in London on May 27th at the George Tavern in Poplar, but it’s almost sold out already…