The Lemon Twigs: 5 Albums That Changed Our Lives

The Lemon Twigs: 5 Albums That Changed Our Lives

Brother band the Lemon Twigs just dropped their new concept album, Go to School, and, to celebrate, Michael and Brian D’Addario shared some records that changed their lives.

The brothers from Long Island started making music in high school (they’re barely out of those hallowed halls) and enjoyed stints as child actors — Brian originated the role of Flounder in the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid and Michael has appeared in a host of movies, including 2012′s Sinister. Fittingly, they lean into that theatrical background on Go to School, which is, in effect, a musical starring a chimpanzee named Shane who is raised as a human boy by a childless couple — the father of which is played by the legendary Todd Rundgren. Big Star’s Jody Stephens also drums on the album, as the band are hardcore fans of the power pop mainstay.

Go to School is the follow-up to the band’s debut studio album, 2016′s Do Hollywood, which has earned them famous fans, including the Zombies and Elton John. Check out their top album picks below.

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MICHAEL D’ADDARIO

Laura Nyro, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession

That was a big album for a lot of people, and it was a big album for me. The idea of having songs that go through phases and don’t just feel like a chorus and a verse… I think there’s so much value in a chorus and a verse, but this is one of the most natural-sounding [records I've heard]. Rather than the schizophrenic nature of Frank Zappa’s stuff. She was a big influence on Todd [Rundgren] so she was a big influence on me.

Alan Vega, Collision Drive

There are a lot of moments on the record that, lyrically, [tell] so much from such simple words. The repetition of words and the repetition of phrases. There’s a story in the short bursts and phrases that make up a complete image.

The Keane Brothers, The Keane Brothers

That album I just found in a record store, and it was fascinating. … It’s just trying to get on the charts music, but with kind of kiddie lyrics. It’s charming — it’s immature music, so it’s better when kids are doing it.

Ronnie D’Addario, Falling for Love

I’ll choose one of my dad’s records. It sounds really great for the way he did it [mostly on an 8-track and a Shure 58]. Home-recorded. Amazing songs. I’ve been hearing it all my life, so other people should hear it, too. I think I stopped being cynical about it being my dad’s music when I was about 12. He was a really amazing songwriter who never got signed or anything. He was every bit as good as someone like Emitt Rhodes, he just never got any exposure.

Lou Reed, John Cale, Songs for Drella

That was definitely a very big album for me because it was so artistic and also so simple in its goal. Its goal was just to be sort of a biography of Andy Warhol in album form, and it doesn’t do anything other than that. There’s no frills. There’s no drums. It’s just him and John Cale playing, and there’s no wordplay or anything like that. It’s really conversational.

When you don’t have the innate poetic ability that someone like Lou Reed has, sometimes the best thing to do is lay it all out there. That seems to be what he’s doing every time he’s not being a poet.

BRIAN D’ADDARIO

Cat Stevens, Catch Bull at Four

I guess Cat Stevens was on some sort of spiritual high when he wrote this record. Musically it’s just incredible; his band is amazing. The drummer makes insane choices on it. The piano intro started off in mono, but as he keeps playing it spreads into stereo. There are a lot of cool things like that on the album. He’s just got such a power to his singing.

Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight

There’s a real darkness to this album that’s kind of hard to trace. Richard Thompson’s guitar playing is really incredible; he does a lot of drone-y sounding things with the open strings that make it sound like of Celtic — like a bagpipe. Their voices together are really good.

Leonard Cohen, New Skin for the Old Ceremony

I always like the parts in Leonard Cohen records where he’s kind of screaming. ‘Leaving Green Sleeves’ on this album, he kind of does that; he screams the end of it. There are a lot of amazing orchestrations on that record that… take a backseat to his guitar and the songs.

I saw him live in 2013 and he played ‘Lover, Lover, Lover’ and it was my favorite concert I’ve ever been to. He just had tremendous stamina. He skipped on and off stage. He played for three hours. His intensity was just so consistent throughout the whole thing, and it just felt like he was completely engaged the whole thing and he just kind of had the audience in the palm of his hand. He would sink to his knees… it just felt like a holy thing.

Kanye West, ye

I just think that song ‘Ghost Town,’ I think that’s like ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ I think that’s amazing. I like [the production] choices that are not used much in pop music today. I like the shortness of it. I like how upfront he’s being about his role in it; he gives his team credit.

Kate Bush, The Kick Inside

I think she’s one of the best songwriters. Great chords. Her voice is incredible. There’s some cool reggae-tinged songs on it that are amazing. And I love her.

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