Michael Sherwood & Christian Nesmith “Groovy Lemon Pie”
Thanks to an astute reader alerting me to this hidden gem of an album by Michael Sherwood & Christian Nesmith (son of Monkee Michael Nesmith). Groovy Lemon Pie is a richly layered series of songs that sounds like Peter Gabriel singing lead for XTC or Jackdaw4. Starting with the quirky and catchy “Amanda B” a theme about a carnival burlesque dancer with a secret. And virtually every song here has a compelling melody with complex arrangements that will stick in your head, so give it multiple listens to hear the hidden details.
My favorite track is the jangling teen love triangle, “Sally’s Ass” full of longing for the forbidden booty call to a harmony rich ear worm. The poetic verses of “This Way and That” makes the entire song hypnotic. Several songs have a progressive influence like “Look Out Below” and the delicate “I Wish You Well” which compares to early Genesis Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The jaunty “Underlined” with its swaying verse and multiple chord shifts makes this a another favorite, plus a gentle love song to a favorite pet in “Get Around Girl”. The clever homonym lyrics and guitar rhythm make “Supervision” a delight and the middle eight is pure magic with a blistering guitar solo. With 16 tracks it makes my best album of 2015 list, so download this on Bandcamp only.