Track Premiere: liv. “Lemon”

Photo: Alene Pierro

Emotions are a strange thing to comprehend and at first listen one may feel that this is a song sitting in the acceptance stage of the five stages of break-up documented on ‘Young, Dumb and in Love‘ the new album by New York based singer-songwriter liv. due for release on November 11th .  It feels as if ‘Lemon‘, which features guest vocals from Nathan Kalish, is trying to pick up the pieces from a preceding rollercoaster of emotions – denial, rage, bargaining and depression – in order to make that final transition to the next stage of life without the ex-partner.  However, what seems to be before you isn’t always what’s really going on.  Is this acceptance, or is this being oh so understanding of the person ripping a hole in your heart actually denial of what is going on?

liv. told Americana UK her thoughts about the song: “I wrote this song as a coping mechanism for a breakup. Lemons are, in terms of taste, a rather sour fruit, but they actually have very high sugar content, making them more “bittersweet” than anything else. I would argue that the word “bittersweet” is a perfect way to sum up what heartbreak is: it’s bitter because it hurts, but it’s sweet because it opens the door for something better. I wrote this song the night I got dumped, and the song was almost impossible for me to get through without hysterically sobbing by the third verse.

There was, however, a twist in the tale to come as liv. explained to us: “A few days after I wrote this song, my parents told me that as a graduation gift, they had coordinated a recording session with Van Plating. They weren’t going to tell me until Christmas but they wanted to give me something to look forward to, and I was pretty down after having not the best four months . I quickly shared this song with Van in all its teary-incomprehensible glory (I’m pretty sure the voice memo I sent her had me gasping for air to hold back tears actually).  When I got to Van’s studio in Lakeland, Florida, Van proposed turning this song into something a little more fast-paced and indie-rock than I had originally written it. This idea to change the song’s tone actually made me realize that the song itself is actually something that could arguably be described as denial. This song also inspired me to cultivate a work that explores the stages of grief and growth in a relationship.

In turning this once sob-story into an indie-rock-anthem, Van thought it would be cool to find a male voice to accompany mine. I remember standing in her kitchen and going through her Spotify, listening to her friend’s singing. When we heard Nathan Kalish’s, it was an instantaneous “that’s him” moment. Nathan’s voice is super unique, and I feel like his vocals on this song tie everything that I wanted to convey with a pretty bow.”

So – there you have it, you think you’re being so mature and handling this breakup with a logical equanimity and really all that you’re doing is putting off the hard work of getting things straight again.  Emotional ouch up ahead.



About Jonathan Aird 2731 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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