Lemuria – ‘Recreational Hate’

By Louise Tindall

A collection of sentimental, wistful yearning brings together Lemuria’s latest release ‘Recreational Hate’, their first album in four years. The record came as a surprise to trusting fans who purchased a ‘Secret LP’ off the trio’s website with little other information. Turns out, what would be hitting their inbox was a ten track album reflecting on the lessons learnt during our childhood and the need to cling onto the innocence and hope we once had.

First track ‘Timber Together’ sets the scene with the delicate vocals we have come to expect from Sheena Ozzella. The sound is calming, allowing the song to become background noise whilst our minds get cast back to being young and free. This idea of guiltless fun and hope continues into the next track, ‘Sliver of Change,’ a steady yet upbeat combination that begins the slow uprise of the album. The repetition of the word “sliver” towards the end hones in on the importance of finding a way to not just merely glide through life.

The next few songs continue this disguised lightheartedness with a real focus on the harmonies between Ozzella and drummer Alex Kerns. It’s like a diary of all the good times and a plea to cling onto that faith. Breaking away from this is ‘Lake Below’ which relies on the use of a piano to create the high notes that mimic small droplets of water, reflecting the title effortlessly. This is definitely the most stand-alone song on the album due to its dependence on something other than the guitar. The clever use of imagery reflected throughout the song is prominent and is used further with ‘Trembling’ which does the complete opposite. Here we have a contradiction to the title with Kerns’ soothing voice distracting us whilst he compares himself to the last leaf on a dying tree. The state of calm compared to the honesty of death emphasizes our mortality and the importance of the details being found in otherwise mundane things. On a much thinner level, the song is simple and dreamlike, returning them back to their comfort zone with the string to drum structure.

If you had to pick a song to sum up the band, last track ‘Best Extra’ is the one for it. It’s a mixture of everything they are: a celebration of folk, indie and punk. The main focus lies with the guitars and the ending repetition of “I’m going to keep trying hard” becomes more of a chant, reminding us that things will get better. A great album to keep you motivated as this year takes off.

LOUISE TINDALL

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