Lemuria is an indie-pop/punk trio from Buffalo. They are not the Belgian black metal band of the same name. They’ve been around since 2004, and have released two albums so far. They have another one on the way slated for release this June.
I got something in the mailbag the other day about this song, and it really surprised me. This band, who have been around for almost ten years, are EXACTLY the kind of band that I love, but somehow, I’d never heard of them before. The email contained a different band photo from the one above, and I hate to judge books by their covers, but I knew just looking at them that they make records that I like.
The email didn’t contain any “recommended if you like…” reference points, but it did contain the following paragraph, which really grabbed my attention:
Lemuria might not sound like they are from Buffalo, NY, but the band was proudly birthed there, following the legacy of an oddly eclectic, if not eccentric, music scene. When you loosen your ears to the sugary indie-pop, you’ll discover discordant notes, odd time signatures, and brutal riffs creating menacing yet catchy music.
“…may not sound like they are from Buffalo”. For some reason, that grabbed me much tighter than the “sugary indie-pop… discordant notes, odd time signatures…” bit. Those descriptors would normally have me sold before the ink is even dry, but I really clung to the other bit. I’m not even sure what it means to sound like you’re not a band from Buffalo. Or even to sound like you ARE a band from Buffalo. It’s true, though. They don’t sound like Mercury Rev, or Goo Goo Dolls, or Ani DiFranco, or Cannibal Corpse.
When I listened to “Brilliant Dancer”, which SPIN.com calls a “swirling and sweet post-hardcore treasure”, I was reminded of a lot of late 1990s indie punk/pop stuff from places like Washington DC, Lawrence Kansas, and southern California. A lot of co-ed vocal harmonies. A lot of that quiet/loud/quiet blueprint. Really big, drum-heavy choruses. A song in two parts. All that and much more. As much as it reminds me of some of those things in a general sort of way, I’m specifically reminded of the fantastic album Retreat From the Sun by That Dog.
You can decide for yourself by listening to today’s song:
“Brilliant Dancer” by Lemuria
The big moment comes at 0:44, when it changes from being a soft folky ballad to a crunchy pop-punk song just like that. And of course, the co-ed harmonies.
At the end of the second act, there’s a very brief pause at 1:52, then a completely different part of the song comes in. It’s not “different” in a middle eight kind of way. It’s just different. And really, that tiny pause gets my vote every time. Whenever a song has a false ending or a little pause like this one, I’m automatically inclined to like it.
And then it’s the part at 2:14 where the extended final chorus/coda starts. That’s where I’m really reminded of That Dog.
I listened to this song a couple of times in a row, then watched their brilliant video for the song “Pleaser”, from their 2011 album Pebble. I immediately bought a download of that album, and I love it. I’ll suggest that you do the same. You should also order physical copies of their music directly from their web store. Also, you can pre-order your copy of the 7″ record for “Brilliant Dancer”, which will be released on May 21. So far, there isn’t a pre-order for the new album, but I’ll also recommend getting the album when it comes out.