A lot of pop singers are adopting atmospheric tones in their songwriting, but this just can’t be said of Hewas. Hewas’ debut single, titled simply “Lemon,” is a concise, unfanciful shot of vitality to the indie pop model. The stagnant pseudo-postmodernity of a tired alternative music scene isn’t present in this track – in its place, we’ve got a clean cut vocal harmony and acrylic beats that frame it all too elegantly. “Lemon” is a look at what indie pop can sound like when its foundations are left untouched with the overeager hands of a modern generation, and I for one think it’s among the best new songs out at the moment.
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Efficiency is everywhere we look in this track, but I would point out that there isn’t anything here that feels barren in tone. Actually, tonality is one of the most liberally-appropriated elements to behold in “Lemon;” though there are synths providing the main rhythmic center in the song, they don’t sound synthetic or unreal. They encourage us to listen to the vocal even more closely than we already would have; in the midst of all the understated chaos transpiring in this single, Hewas’ voice is the beacon of warmth guiding us through the storm.
Aside from the compositional integrity of “Lemon,” Hewas’ own delivery is spot-on smooth, especially when considering that this is his virgin release as a singer and songwriter. He sounds so comfortable in the booth here; from the moment he begins to croon to the very instant he disappears into the silence alongside the instrumentation, he’s confident and letting us know how unafraid of anything he truly is. This guy has an ‘it’ factor that makes a big difference in the pop genre, and especially in an era that has been as filled with competition as this one has been.
The equalization on the vocal is a little streamlined for what I would normally go for in a new pop song, but I can also understand why Hewas would decide to go with this concept instead of something different. In sticking to a sleek design with the incorporation of the vocal track in “Lemon,” he’s able to preserve the minimalist vibe of the harmony without having to sacrifice any of the natural grit existing in his raw singing. He thought every detail of this track through, and that’s obvious even in the most cursory of listening sessions.
Although the quarantine times have made it easy to spend hours checking out new music online, I don’t think you’re likely to hear another player like Hewas no matter how much internet browsing you do this May. Genre-labeling is becoming increasingly irrelevant as the years go by, and if there’s anybody who doesn’t care about fitting into an aesthetical box right now, it’s this artist. He’s got a boundless musicality that is on display for the whole planet to enjoy in “Lemon,” and if he can keep this ball rolling, he’s going to be scaling the underground hierarchy with an enviable quickness.