Leading up to their album Flat Black Sea, Portland-based Lemon Pitch released three singles, one written by each of the group's songwriters. An amazingly united vision rises from their minds, creating a seamless sound and songs which revolve around motifs of anxiety and uncertain spaces in one's life.
Written by Brock Ginther — Lemon Pitch, Midwestern Medicine, Divorce Cop, The Breakfast Cowboy — "More Bad News" is a bouncy, lilting, manic tune with crunchy guitars and a meaty though agile bassline. "It's mostly about anxiety and fear and how those things can hide and manifest themselves in different ways. Totally a sad clown of a song."
Alex Merrill (Lemon Pitch, Heaven's Cameras) wrote "Airtight," a darker and heavier tune than the other two. It's a testament to the way songs evolve as they continue to exist in the heart and mind of the writer.
"Airtight lived in my head for a solid year and a half before I completed the lyrics. It was another two years before Lemon Pitch formed — so it was very much something that I brought to the band as something that might be a good fit. It took an unpleasant breakup to help me finalize the lyrics, but it was never really much about that situation. It's like, I think about what the song is about when I sing it. I have feelings about the song, but all of that is long since divorced from the events and feelings in my life that the song was originally about." —Alex Merrill
Penned by Galen Richmond — Lemon Pitch, Computer At Sea — "Flat Black Sea" revolves around feeling lost and trying to gain your bearings. Sonically it's got a nostalgic feel with brighter guitar tones. With little to go off of, the song's lyrics are free-associated imagery conveying navigation.
"Flat Black Sea is kind of an anxious song about re-adjusting to my life. My partner and I had been out of work and staying in Mexico for a few months in this weird sort of limbo. When I got back, I immediately started a new complicated job where I was over my head." —Galen Richmond
Intrigued by the process of a band with three individual songwriters, I asked each of them about the unique structure. While their songwriting styles differ, their strong interpersonal skills make it possible to create collaboratively. Merrill brings in songs that are mostly only in need of finishing touches. In contrast, Ginther brings in recently-formed ideas with lots of room to develop and placeholder vocals, which have been described as "muppet-yells." Richmond's style is something of a happy medium.
"Lemon Pitch is kind of a miracle, where you have three really good friends who actually manage to function well in the context of a band. Three is a terrible number as far as personal dynamics go, and songwriting is probably one of the more ego-driven art forms out there, yet, here we are. I'm really proud of the mutual respect and ability to communicate that the three of us have." —Alex Merrill.
The trio of songs teases the group's upcoming album, released this past Friday on the new Repeating Cloud label. Galen Richmond founded the label to give a home to Maine's bands, which fall in the heavier end of the indie-rock spectrum and surrounding sonic territories. His motivation in doing so originated from his efforts to find a label that would work with him to release Lemon Pitch's material to no avail. He found labels that jived with the sound but weren't local. He found local labels that didn't jive with the sound. "Most labels worked first with bands they already had relationships within their local communities. After being briefly bummed that no one was doing that here, I also realized that no one was doing that here." To date, Repeating Cloud has signed some of Portland's favorite rockers, including Crunchcoat, FonFon Ru, Mouth Washington, and of course, Lemon Pitch.
Flat Black Sea is available to be pre-ordered on vinyl and is out now on all streaming platforms. All three singles are on our New Singles From Maine playlist, and found on your preferred streaming service. Find Repeating Cloud on social media for more updates on the fledgling label's progress.