Lemonade Shoelace, the musical project brought to life by Newcastle born Ruairi Richman, has made some name for himself.
Fresh from a series of SXSW performances, a publishing deal with BDi Music under his belt, and not to mention being crowned the recent winner of Vans’ Musicians Wanted campaign, it seems as though this “psychedelic sundae” is just about ready to take over the world. It’s no surprise then that Lemonade Shoelace reminds us to believe in ourselves with his technicolour debut EP, Do Whatever Makes You Happy.
Feeling like a “lonely fool”, Richman begins by asking himself “Is It Easy?” with his dreamy opening track, creating a sound that is reminiscent of Tame Impala’s InnerSpeaker. It’s simplistic yet packed with individual moments of synthetic sound that each draw my attention. The song feels bittersweet as the soothing instrumentation contrasts the rather longing lyrics.
Wooo! With one of the catchiest openings ever, there is no hiding from the fun fest that is ‘Hopscotch In The Sky’. That said, there is a lot happening on this one and at times, it can feel a little overwhelming. Part of us wishes the song was shorter and sweeter, but the grounded drumbeat and light-hearted electronic synths create a warm retro vibe. The trippy guitar solo provides a moment of tranquillity before we are thrown back into the song’s recognisable melodic lines.
Where ‘Hopscotch In The Sky’ goes above and beyond, the third track in the EP, ‘Autopilot Paradise’, sits perfectly with us. A straightforward psychedelic-pop hit, it demonstrates all that Lemonade Shoelace does best; groovy beats, trance-like synths, and lusciously blended vocals that shine through during the verses. This ethereal song makes me long for those hot summer nights sat on the beach surrounded by friends.
‘I Think My Heart Is Set On You’ is the emotional bedroom pop ballad that this EP deserved. Lyrically, the song stands out as Richman recites with tender sentiment “will I ever know what to do, maybe I’m in love”. Maybe we are just big romantics, but the lucid and lo-fi aesthetics of the song do truly capture our hearts.
The final and title track ‘Do Whatever Makes You Happy’ wraps up this EP by incorporating some of its best parts. Shimmering guitars interspersed amongst lively synthesizers echo the vocal line as both answer each other’s call. These vocals are comprised of thought-provoking lyrical ideas as they preach for all listening to find inner peace and well, do whatever makes you happy.