Who is Dope Lemon?
Dope Lemon is a psychedelic sounding Alt/Indie band fronted by Australian Angus Stone (of Angus & Julia Stone and Lady of the Sunshine). After touring with his main band with Julia on their first album, Angus had also been releasing his solo record under the name “Lady of the Sunshine” and found mainstream success with the single off of the album “Big Jet Plane” which was also a single for “Angus and Julia Stone“. This album had a lot of heavy/progressive rock tones throughout the track list (minus Big Jet Plane which is at the core, a pop song and meant for Angus & Julia Stone’s sonic landscape), and was a very refreshing and pleasant listen when I first stumbled upon it, the diversity of this guy’s writing is incredible, you never know what he’s going to throw at you with each album he releases. That is definitely the case on his latest project “DOPE LEMON”. Before this EP came out, Angus had been touring with DOPE LEMON’s debut 2016 LP release “Honey Bones” until they had to postpone the tour due to Angus getting in a snowboarding accident. He had suffered in the hospital for months, and had to learn how to walk again, this gave Angus a good amount of time to re-think his next move for DOPE LEMON and gave him room to focus on his song writing process between himself and the rest of his bandmates. Fast forward to 2017, and we have this new EP “Hounds Tooth”.
My roommate Lana had been listening to this band on Spotify all the time, and I’d always see this strange name “DOPE LEMON” popping up by her name on my Spotify friends list feed, naturally I was intrigued and checked them out for myself, but I had no idea that Angus Stone was behind this project, and what to expect. I was instantly entranced in the psychedelic and almost eerie alt/indie landscape that Angus was painting in the first song off this EP “Home Soon” which starts off the EP with some scattered bongo hits and guitar twanging, the entire instrumental is actually just a lovely sample from the Latin/Soul group Chakachas’ “Stories” which plays throughout the entire track. The song seems to talk about Angus’ desire to come “Home Soon” when he was in the hospital, trapped in a place where the only thing he could do was think about his next creative take on this project of his.
“I’ve been finding good time to be bored out of my mind, I’ve been walking for days, I don’t have the time to play”.
The next track “Neon Lights” is by far my favourite track on the album. The song features this incredibly euphoric/spacey guitar reverb-y guitar riff, while Angus takes you to this world where the stars are neon, and throughout listening to this song, I could just picture myself laying down on a field, staring into the night sky with these neon lights, forgetting about all of my troubles and worries. DOPE LEMON has a perfect blend of laid-back alt-indie rock that you can expect from Angus, but also a unique taste of psych/stoner influence that is apparent in all of these DOPE LEMON tracks. I think i’ll be listening to this, and the band’s debut album a lot more after discovering this unique and intoxicating portal of beautiful music.