As a debut single, “Lemon Drop” gives listeners a lot of sounds to suck on. Transatlantic trio Raynes is two parts American, one part British, and they package folk influences in a shiny pop wrapper, blending violins and tin whistles with pounding drums, bass synth stabs, and a few chorus “whoa-ohs” for good measure.
There’s something to appreciate on both sides of the foil; let’s start with the pop. UK native and lead vocalist Mark Race boasts a falsetto reminiscent of Bastille’s Dan Smith–the kind of voice that’s just right for tongue-in-cheek musings on fame like the one at the soft center of “Lemon Drop.” The title conceit is an apt metaphor for a lot of things–namely the sour taste of stardom, but also the song’s semi-sweet, slightly-minor sound, which is still plenty slick in the hands of veteran pop producer Mighty Mike.
If anything, it’s the folk side of things that lands more on the sour side. The violin lends innocence to Raynes’ sound and some honest depth to the fame metaphor; this is a debut single, after all, and you can hear the trio’s earnest hope behind their self-deprecating setup. But on the other hand, the strings stick out a little sharply, caught between orchestral and Americana modes of play.
Raynes has a ready and waiting catalog of singles set to drop soon, and it’ll no doubt be a blast unwrapping each one. For now, “Lemon Drop” is great for a quick, sugary hit.