Dope Lemon on writing, reflecting and wrapping up with a glass of whisky

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Dope Lemon on writing, reflecting and wrapping up with a glass of whisky

Credit Jarrad Seng
Words by Lesleigh Luiten

On September 29, under the moniker Dope Lemon, Angus Stone will release his fourth studio album, Kimosabè.

We can expect the combination of Stone’s seductive voice, mesmerising soundscapes, and an infusion of all things psychedelic. However, this time we can expect something a little different – for the first time in Dope Lemon history, Stone is giving audiences a glimpse at the man behind Dope Lemon.

Kimosabè is described as everything that is Angus Stone, it reflects upon the past and provides a glimpse into the future. Stone isn’t exploring anymore; he’s showing more of himself. He credits the success of Rose Pink Cadillac for giving him the confidence to really put himself out there.

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“The success of Rose Pink Cadillac was so beautiful to see. Every next record I write I put everything I have of myself and my thoughts into it. Watching the way that was received was really special, the way new people that hadn’t discovered Dope Lemon – as well as the gang that were already fans – were reacting with the record in their daily lives was very, very amazing to watch unfold. We feel so lucky to be able to have a labour of love turn into something so prevalent in people’s lives and being able to share what you create only then makes it a real thing – it becomes an entity in itself. Such a beautiful thing to be able to watch grow, it really is.”

Reflection is an art form in itself; it sets apart extraordinary artists like Dope Lemon, enabling them to be at the top of their game.  While writing Kimosabè, Stone spent countless hours looking back on his life and past work and asking the important questions; what worked? What didn’t? What can we achieve this time?

“The whole process of writing is an adaptation of a reflective state you are in when you step into each song. Sometimes you don’t notice how far you are into completing the record as a whole until you come up for air and sit back and say ‘Woah, I think we have a record here.’ It’s a neat thing. It is a large amount of work but it’s a neat thing.”

“Each album you write feels like you are letting go of a part of you that you have lived through and sacrificed a large amount of time to create. Like any tradesman that dedicates a solid portion of their days to finish what they set out to complete, from the beginning there is pride in looking back and seeing the evolution from creation to creation evolve. I guess, looking back at the albums I’ve made, it’s cool to see somewhat of a journal of my life up to now and I have a feeling of pride in my work. It’s really cool like that.”

“Looking back at the albums I’ve made, it’s cool to see somewhat of a journal of my life up to now.”

Not only does Stone have Kimosabè, he’s also had the realisation of how he wanted to engage in his future.  “The future, to me, is right here where I am now. I love what I am doing and I feel like that is the future of feeling content and happiness. I’m so lucky to have the fans I have and the people around me that support what I do and I love them all so much for that.”

And while some of us journal, reflect, create or craft to unwind after a hard day’s work, Stone has been doing all those things for months in the studio. So how does an artist relax and unwind? Whisky of course!

“Generally, a bottle of nice scotch to wash down all the hard work making another record and some good times with friends fishing and shooting some pool before another tour fires up. It’s been a large amount of work making this record and we are so excited to share it with the world.”

The last time Dope Lemon released an album it involved a beautifully restored rose pink 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood and a very lucky fan. “That was a real cool moment to give back to our fans in that way. A very large way indeed! It’s the least we could do really for the way they have given us loyalty in returning to each record as we move along in our career.”

A rose pink Cadillac makes sense given the title of the album – we’ve been racking our brains trying to decipher how Dope Lemon will celebrate the release of Kimosabè. Perhaps a golden cod or a blue moon fox? “We’ve definitely got something in the works for our fans for sure. Can’t say too much just yet but watch this space.”

We’ve had two slices of Lemon so far with the release of Miami Baby and the titular Kimosabè. Inspired by classic comedy Step Brothers, Kimosabè has already broken a lot of the band’s previous streaming records, which Stone says is really special.

“On another unexpected level, we had the writers (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) give us a call saying they dig the tune and they were happy for Dope Lemon to use the samples of them in the song, which was a very cool thing. Always loved what they do, and it’s so neat to know they have listened to the track and dug the salute the Lemon has shown them in using the lines from the movie.”

Dreamy and psychedelic are words that come to mind when you think about a Dope Lemon show. The band are known for incorporating stunning visual elements into their performances, complete with themed outfits. The magic of Dope Lemon is really highlighted by alluring vibes and boisterous beats. The band are returning to Australia on September 14 and 15, for shows at the Forum and Sydney Opera House respectively. Both Australian shows promise to lure audiences into the world of Kimosabè, a magical place with a time capsule filled with arcane treasures from across the world.

“As always, it’s going to be a very golden night out with the Lemon. The Forum is so regal and we love playing there so much, to the Opera House in Sydney! We have some special guests coming out and will be playing your favourite Dope Lemon songs from all the records including a handful from the new Kimosabè album. We feel so lucky to be able to come and see you all. We are back home baby. Grab those juicy, juicy tix now.”

Kimosabè is out September 29 via BMG. Dope Lemon is playing the Forum on September 14. Tickets here.

 This article was made in partnership with BMG.