Spotlight // Lemolo
Lemolo singer Meagan Grandall knows where she came from. I mean literally ¬— her Seattle-based dream pop outfit is so in touch with her roots that the band’s name was taken from a major street in her hometown of Poulsbo, Washington. It’s that comforting concept of home that has allowed Grandall to create music that feels both wistful and nostalgic. Lemolo self-released their first full-length album, Kaleidoscope, in 2012, and now, complete with a brand spanking new drummer, the duo is recording their follow up as well as playing shows including the upcoming Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle July 25th. We recently chatted up the Pacific Northwest chanteuse to discuss new vibes, old memories, and dream jam sessions.
What sort of memories from Lemolo Shore Drive, after which you named the band, have inspired your sound?
Poulsbo is a small town outside Seattle and Lemolo is a small, beautiful winding road that borders the bay the town is centered around. That’s where I learned to rollerblade and skateboard and it’s so nature-oriented and quiet. That’s where I write music and where I’m inspired on a daily basis. For me I can feel a lot more creative there than in Seattle.
What kind of mood would you say this new record has?
I definitely think it’s still in the ‘dream pop’ realm, but there are more driving drum beats, which is exciting. Last summer I played a festival with this band Menomena — who I had never heard of — and just fell in love with their music. Bought all their albums and just drooled all over them. They have more hip-hop beats so I brought that to my drummer for inspiration. So things are more percussive, which is a cool difference.
Speaking of drummers, you recently started working with Emily Westman, after a long stint of playing with the same drummer. How is the new dynamic?
It’s been a big change. [Emily] is bringing a lot to the table. I met her in the coolest way. I had spent about a month without a drummer and was really stressed out. A good drummer needs to be your partner, your friend, and I was worried it would take a long time to find. A friend of mine knew Emily from college and we had coffee and talked for three hours! It’s been great ever since.
What is your songwriting process like?
It’s funny, I never thought I had one but I guess in its own way the random nature of it is my process. It’s never planned. I feel a lot more creative at night. I like to have privacy, because it allows me to feel more comfortable. I have a little studio in my bedroom so I might just get out of bed and start writing something.
Your music is dreamy and melancholy in a way that reminds me of Mazzy Star or more recently Beach House. Who are some of your influences?
There are so many! I feel like I always leave some out. Back when I first started writing — when I was a young teenager — I loved two local bands: Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. I fell in love with Emily Haines and Elliot Smith’s lyrics and moods. I’ve always loved moodier songs. Once I started performing I got into more rocker women like St. Vincent, Warpaint, and Wye Oak.
Collaborations are nothing new but they seem to be trendier than ever. In terms of a genre crossover collabo, who would your dream partner be?
I have this vision board with a picture of Thom Yorke. Written under it is “collaborate with Thom Yorke.” So….yeah.