- Hallie Santo
A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about Lemolo. I was one of six staff members at a small music blog; they had just released their debut album, played two sets at Block Party, and were gearing up to open for Sharon van Etten at the Neptune. I met with them in a coffee shop in Ballard, and they told me about their aspirations for the future: venues they wanted to play, cities they hoped to visit. Now, three months later, the first band I ever interviewed was headlining a sold-out show at one of Seattle's swankest venues, and my first assignment as The Stranger's new music intern was to review it. (They grow up so fast, don't they?)
Indeed, their show at The Triple Door was full of odd coincidences. The night started off on a soulful note as Portland's Slang! took the stage amid the clinking of glasses and the tinkling of forks on plates. Drew Grow and Janet Weiss give off a bit of a White Stripes vibe – yowling male vocalist, stoic female drummer, covers of classic blues songs – so it was bizarre to watch them perform Little Willie John's "I'm Shakin'" just months after Jack White released his own version. The duo played a diverse set of songs, including an especially endearing cover of the Beatles' "Two of Us." "This may be the first time Tom Waits and The Everly Brothers meet on the same stage," Grow quipped.
Coincidence #2 came about an hour later, as Lemolo were finishing up their exhilarating set. Kendra Cox, who had pounded the drums so furiously that she lost her glasses at one point, was taking a break backstage, leaving Meagan Grandall alone at her keyboard. Grandall drew the audience's attention to a mysterious glass structure that had been sitting behind her, explaining that it was an art piece that a fan had given the band. Before Lemolo had released their debut album, The Kaleidoscope, this young woman had crafted a kaleidoscope inspired by Lemolo's music. IT WAS FATE.
...Okay, maybe it's fate, or maybe this up-and-coming band has already found its aesthetic. There's something inscrutable about this duo, the golden girl with the alluring voice and the intense, meticulous drummer. There's something about the way Grandall enunciates at the end of "Letters," allowing the audience to "soak up every word." The grittiness and drama of "Knives" and "Who Loves," played back-to-back. The crowd was captivated, clapping along to "Open Air" and shouting for "Whale Song" during the encore. You've truly won us over, Lemolo. Thank you for a beautiful night.