Lemonade – “Dancer On The Shore” (Feat. Dum Dum Girls’ Dee Dee) (Stereogum Premiere)
Over three albums, Lemonade have perfected their art of rippling, preternaturally chill dance-pop. And on “Dancer On The Shore,” their first new track since last year’s Minus Tide, the Brooklyn trio continues down the same satisfying path, comfortable doing what they do best by evoking warm sands and light blue water. Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls provides the echo to Callan Clendenin’s idle wondering, while crystalline drums gently move the beat along like the band doesn’t have anywhere particularly pressing to be. The track was inspired by Greek mythology and the story of the nymphs Hesperides, or the daughters of the evening, and, like its inspiration, “Dancer On The Shore” feels out of step with time. Listen below.
Here’s some words from Clendenin on the track’s origins:
When Lemonade accidentally began in 2006, I was confidently and optimistically looking toward a digital future and we were charged by the availability of international music on the internet. I was lightly investigating the writing of cybernetics theorists like Heinz Von Foerster (who incidentally died in 2002 in Pescadero , a town near where Alex and I grew up) and I was occasionally imagining the inside of the Northern Californian zen centers which focused on achieving a harmony between technology and nature and the spirit. What would the meditation music sound like at the cybernetic utopia themed yoga center? I actually tried to reinterpret the spiritual house and trance associated with the culture as the sounds were never quite to my liking. As things developed, we became immersed in internet culture and ecstatic about the lack of expressive limitations. We released an EP on an USB bracelet, trying to re-contextualize what is usually a disposable, promotional giveaway as a vessel for artistic output (which we also thought was funny). By Diver I had begun to describe our more nostalgia-laden songs as “cybernetic ballads” in the occasional interview we did at the time. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but a feeling of loss was haunting our sound where it was once a feeling of exploding cathartic joy, but I think it probably mirrored a birthing and dying of internet optimism within modern culture and it reflected the blue screen alienation that came with internet totality.
Since then, however, I have felt a rush of sensation and even frisson for nature and the ocean, and our music has become a sort of celebration of the space where humans and nature exist in harmony. Minus Tide was an invitation to places where technology doesn’t hold dominion, and an attempt to outline scenes of lushly visual landscapes for the listener which are increasingly free of the noise and nausea of nowness. I think as a narrative, this is a return to form for Lemonade, but ideally our music will cease to have a personal narrative arc, as I attempt to withdraw my consciousness from the feelings being expressed through the music, letting my ego and anxiety dissolve into the saltwater to make way for songs like “Dancer on the Shore,” where a Kokopelli-esque Water Sprite mischievously tempts the listener into blissful abandon and Dee Dee (of Dum Dum Girls) plays the part of one of the Hesperides.
Lemonade’s latest album, Minus Tide, is out now via Cascine. They’re playing Cascine’s 5th anniversary party on 9/17 at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn alongside Cuushe, Yumi Zouma, Chad Falley, and Korallreven. Tickets available here.