5th August | Louisiana
I think it suffices to say that we are living in a turbulent and fearful time, regressing where we should see progression and drawing divisions where there should be community. Obviously, a certain amount of responsibility lies at the doors of art and artists to document and disassemble these processes, though also to offer relief in the face of distress. Happily, the golden tones of Australia’s Lime Cordiale seem enough to soothe that pain, in wondrous technicolour.
Opening the night at Bristol’s famous Louisiana falls to the incredibly capable hands of the Australian-born duo, Geowulf and their shimmering, arena-sized pomp. Offering flawlessly-crafted harmonies traded between Kendrick and Toma Banjanin, their infectious sound is built upon loping thuds of percussion beneath grand swathes of disco-infused strings that swell and flow to a fever pitch in such a tiny space. Elements of Nile Rodgers’ staccato funk swing are laced between many of the band’s tracks. In conjunction with their unapologetically optimistic vocal compositions, a sea of reverberant calm washes over every inch of the space. This really is music in the form of medication.
Lime Cordiale are about as much fun as a band can be without being the butt of a joke. Vocally there lies a swagger and twang that seems to have been born somewhere between Glass Animals’ Dave Bayley and a young Caleb Followill. This oozing charm seems intrinsically tied to the composition and production employed by the rest of the band. Layers of glossy keys and sawed-out pads create a meandering bedrock to build charismatic structures of guitar and bass. Speaking of which, it’s these two instruments that share the most impressive interplay as they twitch and swirl around each other like starlings way above in the sky.
Hidden in plain sight, there lies snippets of influence that luckily never take anything away from the band’s own sound. The obvious would be a shade of Mac DeMarco in both the act’s cheeky presence and organic instrumentation, though I also hear elements of early Peace in some of the funk-covered guitar lines and vocal inflections. Personally, the most obscure line of influence I can hear, though nestled firmly beneath the band’s own personality, is that of Brandon Flowers. Something in the grandiose compositional structures, that rear the heads every once in a while, absolutely screams Flowers’ anthemic and uniting songwriting. This opens up room for some spellbindingly massive choruses that occasionally come out of leftfield from a band that mostly seems to live by a motto of down-to-earth rock and roll realism.
Closing out the night, it’s not hard to see just why this act has enjoyed the praise that it has in the past few years. Not since Arctic Monkeys have I really seen a band so dedicated to having fun with their work, whilst also employing some technically impressive musical prowess. With a new record around the corner and a clear ability to break away from the confines of their home country in terms of reach, I think you’ll probably hear about Lime Cordiale a fair bit in the next year.
See the video for ‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ here: