Release date: 4/26/2019
Eagerly awaited new album from Glasgow pop perfectionists Bubblegum Lemonade! Timed for release just as springtime reaches Scotland, ‘Desperately Seeking Sunshine’ is the latest hit parade from prolific multi-instrumentalist Laz McCluskey with a liberal dose of backing vocals by Sandra of fellow Scottish band Strawberry Whiplash.
Lead track ‘Our Mother’s House’ is a jangly autobiographical radio hit proudly heralding the return of Glasgow’s finest with a song featuring Rickenbacker guitars, glockenspiel, layered harmonies and excellent backing vocals. ‘Warm Heart Cold Feet’ boasts shimmering major seventh chords, classy arpeggio guitars, a Beach Boys bass line, and a tambourine shake finish, while ‘First Dance For the Last Time’ is Laz laughing at his own mortality—classic country song writing in indie pop clothing, witty lyrics, a life-affirming zippy guitar intro, jangling Fender Jaguar guitar solo, and plenty of sha-la-las all at 170bpm.
Never to be a Bubblegum Lemonade single, ‘Just An Album Track’ channels The Stone Roses with Madchester vibes, sunkissed harmonies, crackling record sound effects and clever lyrics on the subject of vinyl fetishism. ‘She Only Smiles For You’ is an alternative disco floor filler with Orange Juice strumming and ace harmonies, and ‘An Avenue In France’ makes its case as perhaps the album’s most outstanding track complete with French sounding melodica intro, backwards 12 string guitars, and a beautiful three part harmony about a brief holiday encounter.
Side two of the album opens with potential radio hit ‘Heaven With You’ with its chiming Byrds-like guitar intro, celestial backing vocals, an infectious hi hat, and more glockenspiel. ‘When Love Bites’ is an exceptional song with baroque instrumentation, another dose of sha-la-las, and Laz on violin, and ‘You Don’t Like Music’ is a Strokes-inspired blast of pop questioning the motivations of some in the music industry and featuring signature double-tracked Jaguar guitar solos and an instantly memorable dual vocal chorus.
‘Girls In The Song’ is an ode to women in song, referencing classic tracks by The Monkees, Velvet Underground, and The Hollies plus previous singles from Bubblegum Lemonade—it’s a superb exercise in song structure with beautiful harmonies and a cascading 12-string climax. ‘Show Me A Miracle, a secular hymn to the great Sunday morning lie-in, is a big production number including baggy inspired wah-wah guitar, more backing vox from Sandra, and an exciting musical climax, while final track ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately?’ is a cheeky backhanded celebration of human achievements that contrasts a soft mono verse with a loud stereo chorus and showcases jangling to the max and a blissful partial fade-out.
Bubbling with insanely catchy songs, rich instrumentation, and stunning pop melodies, ‘Desperately Seeking Sunshine’ is a very welcome return for Bubblegum Lemonade and an essential addition to any reputable record collection.
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