Are bands just not interested in creating melodically engaging dance music or is such music just kind of difficult to make? I am honestly not sure. All I know is that after the seminal work of New Order, not a whole lot of bands have come along in the rock world to carry this particular torch. It is a specialized niche, to be sure. If the aim is to keep the trance going on the dance floor, melody may not only be superfluous but downright distracting. On the other hand, if one sees a purpose to music in one’s life beyond the confines of the club scene, music that engages the mind as well as the body isn’t a bad goal.
In any case, here’s “Skyballer,” which, for all its ear-candy trappings and dance-floor length, plunks a simple/great melody into the proceedings and everything makes sense. And while the sonic palette isn’t exactly the same, there is something rather New Order-y going on here in both the band’s commitment to grounding dance music in melody, and the particular kind of straightforward but compelling melody employed. The rest of the song stretches out in a cloud of falsetto, programming, and traffic whistles, with the strategic, if limited, use of guitars. Just when I think I may begin to be exasperated by the song’s clubbiness, I pick up another endearing little detail in the mix (I did not see that incisive acoustic guitar line at 3:57 coming), and then the repeat button brings the melody back and I am some odd kind of putty in its hands.
Born in the Bay Area in 2005 and based in Brooklyn since 2008, Lemonade has two full-length albums to its name, the most recent, Diver, coming in 2012. The band was featured here in March of that year for the song “Neptune.” “Skyballer” is a single released in August, as yet unconnected to a longer release. MP3 via the good folks at Magnet Magazine.