After a 2019 which saw Post Malone become their #1 fan, and four songs land in the Top 40 of triple j’s Hottest 100, Lime Cordiale are ready to justify the hype on their second album 14 Steps To A Better You.
The lads from Sydney’s Northern Beaches have been kicking around for a while now, but it was last year that their brand of vibey, jazz-tinged, growling and horn-filled indie rock really went to new heights, complete with their first European headline tour.
The result, written by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, is a record that spans a couple of years of releases, with tunes like ‘Money’ and ‘Dirt Cheap’ on the record, as well as 2019 smash hits ‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ and ‘Robbery’ all included.
In addition, there are seven brand new tracks that are much more than just excuses to flesh out the record to its 14 track length. It’s a record that spans the full musical spectrum of Lime Cordiale, including both the funky, harder-hitting and instrumentally dense tunes that Lime Cordiale broke radio with, alongside some big guitar and keyboard-driven chillers.
One of the peaks of the record is ‘No Plans To Make Plans’, a tune where Lime Cordiale are once again able to create a carefree and whimsical atmosphere. The track starts off with heavy and driving rhythm, includes piano and horn fills, a motherflippin’ kazoo, trombone slides, whistles. It’s a party and your earballs are very much on the guest list.
The instrumental segments of songs like this one have almost a Dixieland jazz, anything-goes vibe, with calls and responses, glissandos, and of course Louis Leimbach’s vocal growls.
Louis really shows off the diverse ways that he can shape a vocal melody on this album. Another rambunctious tune, ‘Screw Loose’, sees him channel his inner Julian Casablancas, almost speak-singing underneath a dense, thick, forest of instrumentation and production.
This one will absolutely be a singalong track, with an epic call and response just gurning for a live audience. “You got a screw loose… (all) SCREW LOOSE!” I cannot wait to see this one performed live and watch every single punter in the house scream that phrase back at the band from the floor. Oh and there’s a kookaburra laugh in there to cap off the instrumental section.
If you’re a fan of LC’s more introspective, chilled out releases, you’ll love tunes like ‘Elephant In The Room’ which is built around dulcet piano-driven melodies, and ‘We Just Get By’, a slow burner for a Sunday afternoon which has a lovely light texture.
‘Can’t Take All The Blame’ is another funky effort, which, like many tracks on 14 Steps To A Better You, is a bit of an exploration in melodic space with smoother and lighter timbres contrasted by denser sections of instrumentation.
The last new track, ‘Dear London’, is incredibly timely right now, feeling like an ode to touring and travelling overseas. So just let that trombone transport you to a happier, gig-going time.
One of the best qualities of Lime Cordiale is that whether they are playing live or laying down a recording, they sound like they’re having a fucking ball. This album is a continuation of that part of their identity, and it’s one of the reasons this record will succeed, and why you’ll have the best bloody time listening to it.