In April 2019, Lemon released their fifth album The Fifth of Lemon which received raving reviews from music blogs on a global level, but Lemon has kept the wave going with their new single ‘Love Can Take You Places’. Greatly influenced by bands like Primal Scream, Stone Roses and The Kooks, this funky alt-rock fivesome from Amsterdam is building a strong reputation. We spoke with guitarist and vocalist Ralf Hesen about the new single, discovering new music and future plans.
Can you tell us about your new single ‘Love Can Take You Places’?
The song is released in three versions: a radio version with more of a dance vibe, a Nedchester version (Madchester from The Netherlands) with more of a band vibe and a 12” version. It is a very special release for us because we collaborated with none other than Cath Coffey of Stereo MC’s. We are huge Stereo MC’s fans and last February we played as their support act when they came over to The Netherlands. Before the gig, Cath visited our studio to do her vocals. We love her soulful voice and no-one could have sung ‘Let It Take You Higher’s better than she does in the finale of the song.
What was the writing and recording process like?
Writing comes naturally. Sometimes it starts with the lyrics, most of the times it starts with a feeling and some chords. In the studio, we record all our songs together as a band. The vocals are recorded separately. In this case, our producer Tim Egmond did some remixing to create the radio version and 12” version of ‘Love Can Take You Places’.
Does ‘Love Can Take You Places’ have any significant meaning for you?
Yes, it is a song about hope. Love can be disappointing sometimes – I’ve been there – but it can take you higher than anything else. Even if you have loved someone for no more than a single day in your life, you wouldn’t want to have missed it, would you?
Which is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
The most challenging thing is completing the lyrics. If I have a few good lines, I feel the song already conveys what I want to say. I understand the lyrics deserve a bit more work to make it easier for people to connect to the feeling I have put in it.
Why did you enter the music industry?
It wasn’t really a conscious choice. I started playing the guitar around 12 years of age and formed a band with some friends when I was 16. I started writing my own songs and at one point we headed for the studio; that was 5 albums and 1 EP ago.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Staying motivated is the easiest thing. Every time a new song pops up it gives a boost in motivation. Every time an audience goes crazy at one of our shows, even if it is just a small crowd, it boosts our motivation for ages. Most of the times talent buyers rate our shows with 5 stars, so you bet we are motivated until death do us part from the stage!
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
Visit music festivals and wander around. Read alternative blogs like this one.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Rather a question: we are very interested to hear what version of ‘Love Can Take You Places’ is their favourite. They can leave a comment on our Facebook page and please stream the hell out of our new release on Spotify.