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Lemon Twigs branch into music of another generation

Of all the concept albums ever released about a chimpanzee’s adventures in high school, “Go to School” by the Lemon Twigs has to be the best.

Bursting with melodic hooks and ’60s and ’70s pop references, the album carries on the noble art-rock tradition of ambitious concept albums with slightly outlandish plotlines.

Brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario had some vintage pop on their radar, along with a handful of Broadway musicals, when they wrote the album last year. They recorded all 16 songs at their home studio in Long Island, bringing in pop hero Todd Rundgren to play the chimp’s dad and their own mother to be the mom. Most of “Go to School” will be played in sequence when the Lemon Twigs hit the Paradise on Monday.

“We just wanted to make a fantasy,” Brian said by phone this week. “We started writing it like any other record, but the songs became connected in a way that wasn’t apparent before we wrote them. We’d also gotten into some musicals that we’d never heard before, like ‘A Little Night Music.’ You can hear that in some of the orchestrations. We always envisioned it performed by the Muppets or something like that, where it has a tone that could be serious if you forget about the character being an animal. It wasn’t meant to be tongue-in-cheek, so much as not being part of this reality.”

Though Brian and Michael are respectively 21 and 19 years old, their musical reference points come from decades earlier. It’s not often that a young, modern band will reference Sparks, pre-disco Bee Gees or Big Star (whose drummer Jody Stephens also guests on the album).

“We grew up thinking that everybody was listening to those bands,” Brian said. “It wasn’t until we got to school that we learned otherwise. Our parents

Article source: https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/01/11/lemon/

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