Thursday, 5 February 2015

Art of the Cover - The New Mendicants "Into the Lime" (2014)





Some lovely artwork adorns this fine collaboration between two unsung greats of indie music - Norman Blake of the magnificent Teenage Fanclub and Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers.

The cover was designed by Chris Braden and Kaila Jacques from Bruce Mau Design in Toronto.

The XPT vinyl release was pressed on badass clear vinyl with a rich four-color label, while every LP sleeve contains an Isong Card with a download code.

"Into the Lime" contains nine spanking new original songs plus a cover of Sandy Denny's sublime By The Time It Gets Dark. The album was recorded sporadically, between the summer of 2012 and spring 2013 in Ontario.









Some pairings make perfect sense right from the start. When Blake and Pernice announced that they had started a new band together, fans of classic, harmony-driven guitar pop recognized a winning formula. 

The New Mendicants' debut LP Into the Lime contains all of the classy songcraft, jangling guitars, and big harmonies fans expected and it almost comes as a relief that the two beloved songsmiths didn't use this project as a platform for some other sort of wild artistic experimentation. 

Along with drummer Mike Belitsky of the Sadies (the only native Canadian in this Toronto-based trio), Blake and Pernice play to their strengths, delivering ten strong new songs that echo not just their own bands, but classic '60s influences like the Hollies and the Byrds. 

From the opening organ/piano riff of "Sarasota," the band's arrangements are subtly thrilling, yet comfortably laid-back. There's a very relaxed, unhurried atmosphere to the album which speaks of the members' many years of friendship and combined studio experience. 

The sublime "Cruel Annette" blend the two singers' styles into something new to both, while the gentle "If You Only Knew Her" comes across like a blend of Chad and Jeremy's wistful classic "A Summer Song" and Nick Lowe's stately late-career output. Several of the album's songs were originally intended to soundtrack the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel A Long Way to Fall, but even when the Mendicants are singing about suicide and depression,











Tracklisting

01 Sarasota
02 A Very Sorry Christmas
03 Cruel Annette
04 Follow You Down
05 Shouting Match
06 If Only You Knew Her
07 High On the Skyline
08 By the Time It Gets Dark
09 Out of the Lime
10 Lifelike Hair 















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