Marbles, Lime Garden

You would be forgiven for thinking that you were late to the enormous house party with Lime Garden. Given their slick production, ear-worming hooks and consistently grunge-meets-psychedelia aesthetic, on first glance the 4-woman band might have been on the scene for a decade. You would, however, be wrong. Lime Garden, formed barely 3 years ago, have already carved out an unmatched glossy sound that’s crystallised on their latest release, ‘Marbles’.

Of course, Lime Garden didn’t start out so polished. The group met in Guildford after connecting via Facebook. The ragtag collection of Chloe Howard, Annabel Whittle and Leila Deeley were soon transformed into frontwoman, drummer and guitarist after discovering their harmonious music taste. After the trio moved to Brighton post-college, they tempted their new housemate, Tippi Morgan into learning bass, and thus formed the group originally just called Lime.

The group has come a long way since their early London shows, which provide anecdotes of barren 2-man audiences. Last year Lime Garden sold out a gig at Prince Albert six months in advance. They are currently supporting London-based indie-punk virtuoso’s FEET, a feat (pardon the pun) that evidences the band’s accelerating prowess.

Lime Garden’s musical progress has followed the same path. While their first digital release ‘Welcome to the New World Order’ is undoubtedly Lime, the airy touch of shoe-gaze present on the track was replaced with the crashing confidence of danceability in their next, 2020’s ‘Surf N Turf’. Several more releases later, Lime Garden have firmly set themselves within their own unique Venn diagram of indie rock, seventies psych, mellow lo-fi and shiny pop.

Their 2020 release, ‘Marbles’, comes somewhat full circle. Delivered to fans through their relatively new label, So Young Records, bubbling synths and contorted strings are reminiscent of the dream pop that started them out. Its chorus, however, returns with the refined and up-tempo hook that listeners have come to expect.

The track strikes the difficult balance of having both upbeat catchiness and embodying a touch of unsettling anxiety. ‘‘Marbles’ is about the realisation that you’re not sharing the same lifestyle as those around you’ , Chloe Howard explains in a statement. ‘It’s about overthinking that comparison to the point where you question your own sanity or direction in life’.

This overthinking undercuts ‘Marbles’ through the stripped back pre chorus, leaving room to reflect, and through echoing vocals that end the track, the sonic equivalent of blurry vision.

‘This wasn’t the easiest song to finish writing’ she continues, ‘we knew we had a strong chorus, but we just couldn’t seem to join the different sections or to get the detached feeling we wanted. In the studio Leila eventually detuned her guitar for the double track in the verses, this created the warped and dissonant feeling’.

By the end of a listen to ‘Marbles’, it’s difficult to imagine such difficulties. Clean as crystal, the track boasts a level of expertise from Lime Garden that we can only hope to hear more of.

Words by Kate Bowie

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