Posts Tagged ‘Brian D’Addario’

Get ready, because you’re about to feel. That’s what Tim Heidecker warns on “Fear of Death’s” opening track, “Prelude to Feeling.” And he means it. This is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and, you guessed it, the inevitability of death – and without a warning, those feelings might just sneak up on you.

Fear of Death is the follow-up to 2019’s What the Brokenhearted Do, which chronicles a fictional divorce from his wife and the accompanying depression. Just like that one with its morose theme of a contentious breakup, the new album puts Heidecker squarely in the tradition of comedians and actors like Steve Martin, Hugh Laurie, and Donald Glover, eschewing his funny side in his music and leaving the jokes for the screen.

Tim Heidecker and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering have chosen an alarmingly on-the-nose year to release a mostly sunlit album about death. Although the duo and a host of collaborators recorded “Fear of Death” in 2019, the absurdity of the album’s release amid a global pandemic, overdue uprisings against police brutality, raging West Coast wildfires and the 2020 election cycle only amplifies these songs’ often upbeat morbidity. Heidecker and Mering certainly aren’t strangers to the absurd and its accompanying hilarity. Over Heidecker’s 20-or-so-year career, he’s developed a distinctly surreal, ironic brand of hipster humour through the cult Adult Swim shows Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Decker. Even before Mering jumped to the forefront of the chamber-rock pack with last year’s apocalypse-themed instant classic Titanic Rising, she was singing about how bizarre the world’s end will look. Both also share a passion for ’70s soft rock, as do some of their Fear of Death collaborators.

Fear of Death is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and the inevitability of death. It’s Heidecker’s biggest sounding and most fleshed out album yet featuring an all star band comprised of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering (vocals and piano), Drew Erickson (Jonathan Wilson, Dawes), The Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario, Jonathan Rado, and string arrangements by Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard (Foxygen, Bedouine, The Waterboys, Natalie Prass). “I didn’t know that Fear of Death was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker says. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”

The album’s lead single, “Fear of Death,” is “about as ‘Dead’ as I get,” says Heidecker. Over an intricate guitar line, Heidecker’s voice intertwines with Mering’s elevative vocals as he swears off partying and risky decisions: “I don’t see the value in having fun // I think I’m done growing // fear of death is keeping me alive.” And while “Fear of Death” is an upbeat take on avoiding potentially fatal choices and avoiding death, “Nothing” comes to terms with it. “Nothing, that’s what it amounts to, they say // A black void waiting down the road for us one day,” Heidecker sings from a recording session that he calls “one of the more spiritual and emotional moments of my creative life.”

The band nods to J.J. Cale in the bluesy and smoky “Say Yes To Me” and The Faces in the uptempo ode to country living, “Come Away With Me.” The album’s haunting and sad closer “Oh How We Drift Away” began as a Bernie Taupin/Elton John-style writing experiment, with Heidecker supplying the words and Mering setting them to music. “I was very interested in trying to do something big in scope and otherworldly,” Heidecker says. “I hope it leaves you thinking.”

While this is serious music about serious topics, it’s not all doom and gloom. Heidecker says, “I hope my observations and meditations on death, the afterlife, the future, while at times a little dark and grim, offer a little comfort and catharsis for some people, as I don’t think I’m the only one who occasionally thinks about this stuff.”

“This record is a dream come true for me,” he continues. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.” Occasionally, an idea with the shabbiest, simplest beginnings will grow into something more special than ever intended. With Fear of Death, Heidecker and his band of friends have achieved just that.

From the album Fear of Death, out September 25, 2020, on Spacebomb Records

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The D’Addario brothers will return this Autumn with their third Lemon Twigs album, Songs For The General Public” written, recorded and produced by the D’Addario’s at their home studio in Long Island, Sonora Studios in Los Angeles and Electric Lady in New York City.

The prodigiously-talented brothers first emerged as The Lemon Twigs in 2016 with their debut LP Do Hollywood, whose show stopping melodies mined from every era of rock quickly earned fans in Elton John, Questlove, and Jack Antonoff.  Go To School, the ambitious 15-track coming-of-age opus, followed in 2018 and solidified the band’s reputation for building grand walls of sound around an audacious concept.

The D’Addario brothers return with their third Lemon Twigs album, written, recorded and produced by the D’Addarios at their home studio in Long Island, Sonora Studios in Los Angeles and Electric Lady in New York City. Brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario wrote that they would begin work on an additional record “to try and make it up” to fans. The album was originally scheduled for a May 1st release. “It’s with even greater disappointment that we move our record release date to August 21st. They say good things come to those who wait, and even better things come to those who wait longer. And then they tell you not to procrastinate. What kind of sense does that make? To try and make it up to you, we’re hard at work on another record.

“In times of global turmoil, I find it comforting to recall something the late great Abraham Lincoln once said. After that, I like to take a large ice cube out from the freezer and suck on it for a couple of minutes.”

The label just announced this limited translucent red vinyl edition of “Songs For The General Public”, the third album from The Lemon Twigs, out 21st August.

Band Members:
Brian D’Addario,
Michael D’Addario

The 12-track album will also be released on standard black vinyl, while the first 100 vinyl pre-orders made through the 4AD records Store will receive a limited-edition signed print

The Lemon Twigs - Songs For The General Public

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The Lemon Twigs seem to be a band whose bodies are in 2017 but their hearts and minds seem happiest in the past. BrianandMichel D’Addario lead the group and are joined by Danny Ayala (keyboard) and Megan Zeankowski (bass). In every feature and article written about The Lemon Twigs there is that consensus: they are certainly a little odd. Modern music, and music in past years, seems too safe, sanitised and predictable in many ways. The introduction of the quirky and quixotic band, a duo in the studio but band when playing live, is a breath of fresh air to the Green Room of music – a band that evoke blissful memories and extract a deep-down sensual sigh from the listener. Comparisons have been made with the band and two legendary names: The Beatles and Beach Boys.

The harmonies and 1960s Pop magic of the Liverpool legends and sun-kissed harmonies of Brian Wilson and co. are staples The Lemon Twigs employ – they update the music of both and provide their distinct spin on events.

Photographs of the brothers D’Addario, in some, evoke cynicism and strange remarks. One sees shots of them and gets a combination of hipster-gone-wrong and Billie-Ray-Cyrus-fed-through-a-blender-of last-minute-shopping-mall-clothes-shopping – the unmistakable whiff of mullet into the agenda. The boys’ talent is astonishing, though: considering they are still in their teens it makes their mature, accomplished and astonishingly ambitious music all the more unlikely and unparalleled. In a music world where similar-aged musicians, for the most part, write of indiscretions, love lives and anxieties: The Lemon Twigs are a much more sophisticated, glass-half-full kind of proposition.

All of these components go into the band’s music: you cannot hear one of their songs and be uninvolved or not register any reaction. The D’Addarios dad released some albums in the late-1970s and his musical talent, throw in the fact he was a multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire, has been passed onto his sons – a genetic gift that beats diabetes or a receding hairline. The debut album from The Lemon Twigs, “Do Hollywood”, was met with critical acclaim with many saying the same thing: not only is there nobody out there like The Lemon Twigs but the sheer wonder, intensity and talent or display is audacious. Their best work may be ahead of them but there are not many debuts that are as transfixing, beguiling and nuanced as their debut release “Do Hollywood”. I have mentioned The Lemon Twigs being a ‘band’ but they are more a duo, to be honest. Most of the instrumental chores were handled by the D’AddariosBrian plays, among other instruments, drums, guitar horns; strings and keys whilst Michael – such a completely amateur dunce! – ‘only’ plays guitar, bass; keys and drums. Both of the boys took up performance at school – Brian at elementary school; Michael from the age of thirteen . – and that all goes into The Lemon Twigs’ debut. There is never any bragging or ego-trip on display: every song is lovingly-crafted and possessed of soul and attention. If some albums tracks recall other acts – The Kinks on Those Days Is Coming Soon and Pink Floyd on Haroomata – the band’s most-famous duo of songs bring in the McCartney – Beach Boys dichotomy – the former’s Wings incarnation of I Wanna Prove to You and Beach Boys’ bliss on These Words.

It is worth noting how their debut album is a homemade, D.I.Y. work that should inspire many upcoming musicians. You do not need a well-stocked, gaudy studio (and all its tinsel and multi-track recorders) to produce something sumptuous, professional and world-class. There is some background chatter and ad-libs which give the L.P. an authenticity and relatable feel. Even if the songs seem born of superhumans and prodigious musicians; the snippets of chatter and tape-hiss brings it right down to Earth. The Lemon Twigs  “Do Hollywood’s” mixed influences – some reviewers brought in names like Ramones and Supertramp – means their music is sumptuous and beautiful one moment; edgy, attitude-laden and spiked when needed. Few other artists can achieve those polemics and make them sound so natural and unforced.

At the time the boys claimed they’re “…just a couple of bozos from Long Island”. The guys have no interest in the city and all its life: where they live, about forty-five minutes outside of New York, is a lot less eventful and exciting than you’d imagine. They are not only brilliant musicians but modest and grounded. The brothers lust after California and its sun, sea and beauty – seemingly much more conducive to their brand of Beach Boys-inspired sounds. One wonders whether the calm and contemplativeness of their N.Y. base have resulted in focus, quiet and calm; allowed them to create the music heard on Do Hollywood. Would California, and all its allure, charm and distractions lead to less inspired and sensational music (something more ordinary and predictable?). The album itself was recorded in California – if its words and origins sit in New York – but the guys had their upbringing and parents’ record collection to thank. Raised on a combination of “the greats”, including The Beatles and Beach Boys, it is small wonder they were bitten by the music bug. As Brian stated:

“It all goes back to that for us. But when we write, we’re not trying to emulate those things – it’s just our idea of what a song should be is based on the principles set in those decades”

Brian’s heroes included Pete Townshend and Procul Harum Brian distills it thus: “It seems that popular music has become simpler over time”

That is a sentiment shared by Michael who claims music of the ‘60s and ‘70s was more complex and challenging: today’s standards are lower but that, as stated, is not always a bad thing. Michael went out to reason modern classics like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, in addition to its quality and political themes, stand out because the music around it is so simple and, compared with previous decades, unsophisticated. That might raise eyebrows with some but it is hard to argue against that assumption.

The Lemon Twigs, therefore, are keen to bring music forward by bringing in the past. Whether it is reverse-evolution – or tribute to their heroes – you just know the kind of music that was playing around the time Do Hollywood was written.

The demand is out there and extends across three continents. Few bands manage to accrue that kind of adulation and popularity after their debut album. To some, The Lemon Twigs are an oddity of Ziggy Stardust proportions; to others, they are an acquired taste. For those who listen carefully and share common bonds – the love of legendary harmony-makers, Beach Boys and the peerless Pop instancy of The Beatles – you find so much to fall in love with. One blast of These Words’ chorus or I Wanna Prove to You and its man-from-another-era peculiarity and you are hooked and helpless.

What I do know is the brilliant mind;s of Brian and Michel D’Addario seem perfect for journalistic craniology . It may seem condescending to say such a thing but the Americans are in a league of their own: a luxuriant, heart-warming sound that will see The Lemon Twigs

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The Lemon Twigs - Songs For The General Public LP (Opaque Red)

The D’Addario brothers returned in May with their third Lemon Twigs album, “Songs For The General Public“.

Songs For The General Public” was written, recorded and produced by the D’Addarios at their Long Island home studio, Sonora Studios in Los Angeles and New York City’s Electric Lady. The first single ‘The One’ is available today, alongside a video directed by Michael Hili featuring Brian and Michael D’Addario on the campaign trail for ‘the one’.

Receiving the seal of approval from the king of kitsch himself, Elton John, with their debut album “Do Hollywood” in 2016, The Lemon Twigs, made up of Long Island brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, are no strangers when it comes to pomp. 

Their outlandish combination of baroque rock, power pop and glam calls to mind the theatrical eccentricity of Queen, most notably on 2018’s “Go To School”, a concept album about a musical chimpanzee called Shane who’s raised as a human boy. 2020’s “Songs For The General Public” plays with vintage swirling synths, campy melodies and operatic harmonies that salute the peculiar jauntiness of Supertramp and Alice Cooper.

The 12-track album released on 1st May digitally and on CD, limited translucent red vinyl (only available via indie stores and the 4AD Store) and standard black vinyl.

Released August 21st, 2020

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The Lemon Twigs “LIVE”:
Compiled from recordings of The Lemon Twigs’ live performances in late 2018, early 2019 on the “Go To School” tour, here is The Lemon Twigs LIVE. If you close your eyes while you listen, you’ll experience EXACTLY what it would be like to go to a Lemon Twigs show wearing a blindfold. This live record is so good. The brothers are a whole different beast live.
The album is available exclusively on bandcamp. All of the proceeds will go to Coalition for the Homeless, who are helping NYC’s most vulnerable during this trying time and have been since 1981. For more information on them go to their website: 

Recorded live to tape during shows in Pawtucket RI, Northampton MA, and Los Angeles CA.


Brian: I really wanted to release it when we first got off the road, but I don’t know if our label was that interested. But yeah, I’m happy with it. It was such a weird time after we released Go to School. I felt we should come off of an album like that by getting some string players together and trying to do this orchestral/theatrical thing. And Michael’s headspace was really not there; he wanted to do the opposite of that album, practically. And we had these musicians with us that were so great, who came from the jazz world. It ended up being a lot of jamming, which I never expected to do in my life—a lot more soloing than I ever thought I would want to do. [Laughs.] It’s cool to look back on, even though it was relatively recently. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get that side of us across on a studio record; and when we do tour for this record, I think it will be a lot different than how we sounded on that tour.

Michael: We recorded it on a little cassette machine; we didn’t know if we were going to put it out with our label or if we’d slip it out like a bootleg, but we wanted to make it something interesting, not just put out a live album that’s really boring. The live albums that are cool are the ones where they completely transform the songs, or the ones where they just talk—or maybe they do the songs really intimately. And this gave us the opportunity to document that period. It was very intense to do that kind of stuff every night; it was hard work, and I really wanted a snapshot of it. Because I don’t know if I always want to be that intense, you know what I mean?

The Group:
Brian D’Addario – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Michael D’Addario -guitar, vocals
Tommaso Taddonio – keyboards
Daryl Johns – bass, vocals
Andres Valbuena – drums, vocals

Released April 29th, 2020

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The Lemon Twigs return with their third album,“Songs For The General Public”on 1st May! First single ‘The One’ is available, alongside a hilarious video directed by Michael Hili featuring brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario on the campaign trail for ‘The One’ that could easily have been the opening credits for a mid-70’s off beat comedy series.

The Lemon Twigs arrived in 2016 with their debut LP “Do Hollywood” which featured melodies mined from every era of rock and quickly earned the D’Addario brothers fans in Elton John, Questlove, and Jack Antonoff.  Sophomore album “Go To School”, was an ambitious 15-track coming-of-age opus, followed in 2018 and solidified the band’s reputation for building grand walls of sound around an audacious concept.

Sam France of Foxygen writes, “The Twigs are legends – teen sensations, k pop stars, Brother Lovers, Twiggy Cola Lite. Their songs exist as cultural freebase. Cocaine, water, baking soda, and DNA. (o.k. )
While the White Smile Face People appoint Garage Girl, Digital Bass Face or Shitbag Boy as the new FreakoftheWeek, the Twigs have lived 26 cat lives from here to japan making real life bonafide Humans rejoice in the pagan art of Magick Pop Freebase. There are millions of fans, You see; the twigz are more Popular than You, they are Greater than Your Favourite Band, they are a phenomenon.” (not sure what Sam France was on when writing this, but I’d like some although the sentiment is definitely right – ed)

Band Members
Brian D’Addario,Michael D’Addario

‘The One’ by The Lemon Twigs from upcoming album ‘Songs For The General Public’, released May 1st

Brothers of Destruction

The Lemon Twigs album “Brothers of Destruction”, is a six-track EP of previously unreleased material.

Released 22nd September, Brothers of Destruction was written and recorded by the D’Addario brothers – Brian (20) and Michael (18) – on their 8-track at home in New York during 2015, not long after recording their debut album, Do Hollywood.  The half dozen songs, most of which already feature in The Lemon Twigs’ searing live shows, will be made available digitally and as a 12” vinyl.

“In the beginning of 2015 we had songs left over from the Do Hollywood sessions, so we decided to record them at home in New York on our 8-track.  Many of you will recognize some of the songs from our live shows.  They’ve changed a lot over the past year, but these are the original versions.  We consider the EP the last chapter of the Do Hollywood era of our group. So enjoy!”

The Lemon Twigs’ new album, Go To School, is now released on 14th September).

Go To School is a musical that tells the coming-of-age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy.  Conceived by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the 15-track opus was written, recorded, produced and mixed by the pair at their home in Long IslandTodd Rundgren and D’Addario’s mother Susan Hall play Shane’s parents, with further contributions on the album from Jody Stephens (Big Star) and their father Ronnie D’Addario.
The band will host a Reddit AMA today on the Indieheads sub, head here from 3:30pm EST to join in. They are also confirmed to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 4th

‘The Fire’ from The Lemon Twigs‘ new album, ‘Go To School’, out on 24th August.

“Brilliant. A glorious mix of cheerful pop innocence, vaudevillian musical theatre and progressive-rock complexity with a touch of punk attitude thrown in for good measure.”
– The Times (5/5)
“Cherish The Lemon Twigs because they are a rare proposition in today’s conformist pop culture.” – The Independent (4/5)
“Go To School is a blast, a joyous, ridiculous journey that treads a perfect line between silly, funny and heartbreaking.” – Uncut (8/10)
“A once-in-a-generation epic.” – The Line of Best Fit (9/10)
“A rich wall of sound, all intricately arranged orchestration and sublime, multi-layered harmonies, you’re left swooning to a gorgeous swoop of lush instrumentation.” – Q (4/5)
Brian and Michael D’Addario prove themselves capable of pulling off the preposterous.” Dork (5/5)
“Bright, fast-moving with pysch-pop” – Stereogum
“Playful, addictive” – Consequence of Sound
“A sunny, psych-neighboring tune… exhibits a sort of jangly, jumpy rock, its ties to The Beatles readily discernible” – Paste 

Go To School



The Lemon Twigs‘ most ambitious project yet, Go To School is a concept album about a chimpanzee named Shane who is adopted by childless aspiring musicians and raised as a human. Written, Recorded, Produced and Mixed By Brian and Michael D’Addario in their Long Island home studio, the album features Todd Rundgren and their mother Susan Hall’s vocals as Shane’s adopted parents, as well as Jody Stephens of Big Star on drums, Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood providing backing vocals and a host of string and horn players, some of which taught the Brian and Michael in school.

The Lemon Twigs new album is their most ambitious project to date: their second album, Go To School , released on 24th August 2018 .  A musical conceived by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the 15-track opus was written, recorded, produced and mixed by the pair at their home in Long Island.

Go To School tells the heartbreaking coming-of-age story of Shane, a pure of heart chimpanzee raised as a human boy as he comes to terms with the obstacles of life.  Todd Rundgren and the D’Addario’s mother Susan Hall play Shane’s parents.  The album features contributions from Jody Stephens (Big Star) and their father Ronnie D’Addario.  The album drops on August 24th, and follows the breakout success of their technicolour debut full length ‘Do Hollywood’.

The album is dazzling in its ambition, not least because the Lemon Twigs are in earnest. Go to School seems at first to have a lot in common with the music of Sparks, which features another pair of brothers. Ron and Russell Mael also have a theatrical streak and an impressive command of musical sounds and styles, along with a propensity for sardonic lyrics and a deadpan delivery. The D’Addarios, by contrast, seem genuinely interested in sussing out the motives of their characters, and they work to make them more than caricatures. That is, for an operetta where no one questions why the protagonist is a chimpanzee passing for human and attending high school. Anyway, the bully, Shane, his parents: they’re complicated people, and the D’Addarios are sympathetic storytellers. True, it’s a batshit crazy story, but the Lemon Twigs make it compelling, highly tuneful and undoubtedly more memorable than an album of indie-pop songs would have been

The material will be previewed at a select batch of fan only shows, Referring to the contents of the record Brian and Michael D’Addario hint: “Something now, then, big, small, bleak, and hopeful. All in under an hour.”

‘If You Give Enough’ from The Lemon Twigs‘ new album, ‘Go To School’, out on 24th August.

The Lemon Twigs - Release New Songs, 'Foolin' Around' & 'Tailor Made'.

Brian and Michael D’Addario are currently putting the finishing touches on The Lemon Twigs’ second album for 4AD Records, which they’re making in their 24-track analog basement home studio. In the meantime, they’ve just released two new songs — “Foolin’ Around” and “Tailor Made” — both of which are in much more of a straight-up rock style than anything on The Lemon Twigs Do Hollywood, pulling from ’70s riffers like Big Star, Cheap Trick and Thin LIzzy. These tracks won’t be on the new album

Foolin’ Around‘, from ‘Foolin’ Around/Tailor Made’ EP. Released on 28th March on 4AD Records.

The next record’s a musical and, naturally, any song that didn’t fit the concept we left off. “Foolin’ Around” was written by Michael. I think that we both wanted to write some songs that didn’t digress at all musically and were clear in meaning. “Tailor Made” was written by both of us when we were playing acoustic guitars together, which isn’t typically the way we write. It’s the first truly co written song that we’ve released

‘Tailor Made’, from ‘Foolin’ Around/Tailor Made’ EP. Released on 28th March on 4AD Records.