Lemoncello : Stuck Upon the Staircase EP

Lemoncello are an alt. folk duo who met studying at Maynooth University, which is twenty miles or so west of Dublin. Stuck Upon the Staircase is their first release, and it is a remarkable debut - warm, animated music with a natural, balletic grace - rare qualities which Myles O'Reilly has also captured in his films of their work.

Lemoncello's distinctiveness is built from the guitar of Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella's cello; both sing too, with Quirke's elegant vocal lead on each of the EP's three tracks accented by Kinsella's softly glorious harmonies.

Put these elements together and there is an easy charm (located at the enchantment end of the scale) and effortless lyricism to all the songs - in spirit they offer the musical equivalent of standing in a stream barefoot in high summer.

Opening track Morning has a long instrumental lead-in consisting of breaths of picked guitar interwoven with a doleful, waking cello - the eventual lyrics are poetic ('Like tattered kites, we saunter on the wind'), a characteristic emphasised by their skilled delivery, while the harmonies offer punctuating quiet rapture.

Mantelpiece is a melancholy song of separation and has a plaintive, affecting chorus. The final track, Stuck Upon the Staircase, is also about a relationship that has ended with evident sadness, which the words and music impressively sketch out as a trajectory from a first moment of connection.

In a short career Lemoncello have had radio airtime in Ireland, supported Mick Flannery & Damien Dempsey and played a sold out show in France at the Musée de La Piscine in Roubaix; in addition they have helped found a collaborative musicians' project - the Common Grounds Collective. Their second EP will be released early in 2019 - until then there are these three fragments of additive-free, fully organic delight to lull and sustain us; Stuck Upon the Staircase is a richly promising inaugural effort.