COLOUR: Black EXTRAS: Limited to 500 copies
Like many other musicians, Ben Auld began by simply doing things himself. “I started out doing it this way because I had no other options and once I’d made a couple songs it was like ‘I guess I can do this by myself and in my own time’ so I just carried on that way,” he explains of his recording process. His debut album Lemongrass – a short collection of sweet and shiny bedroom pop that gleams with 60s/70s brightness – gathers together sessions he recorded on four- and eight-track recorders at his apartment, his parents’ house in Norwich, and at the snug Canyon Sound Studio. The result is an upbeat little record that manages to sweep between feeling homely and charmingly lonesome to also feeling like it has had the benefit of professional eyes look over it.
Lemongrass then is a testament to Auld’s compositional skill. The album is full of modestly colourful layers, never veering into territory too psychedelic, but rarely leaving a moment monochromatic. His deft guitar playing anchors his songs, Auld weaving multiple layers of melody and harmony on pretty much every track here. “D4A” has a softly jubilant bounce, acoustic notes weaving together like embroidered threads. Even on the brief title track (which feels like the most unadorned thing here) the closely recorded guitar notes are still unceremoniously layered up; even when his arrangements aren’t overtly busy, they still feel anything but bare.