Photo courtesy of Zachary Chick
I came across the D’Addario brothers a.k.a The Lemon Twigs in the Winter 2016 issue of Dazed Magazine – I bought the issue because of my Stranger Things obsession (Eleven is on the cover). Also, Irish disco siren Roisin Murphy is wearing Jacquemus on page 188, and talking about her wheeler dealers parents, and how she grew up alongside weird 50s hairdryers, dentist chairs and the cockpit of a WWII bomber plane.
I was always going to fall head over heels for The Lemon Twigs because they appear to have jumped out of That '70s Show (if it had been directed by Wes Anderson) and then bumped into Joan Jett and Mick Jagger and swapped style tips. Their musician father introduced them to The Beatles and The Beach Boys growing up in Long Island and they have yet to stray from these defining years for music and fashion. “Our core influences are 60s and 70s… It all goes back to that for us. When we write, we’re not trying to emulate those things – it’s just our idea of what a song should be is based on the principles set in those decades. Then, everything else follows. I like the way they dress. We just think it’s cool.”
They wear clothes pulled from thrift stores and flea markets mainly out West, where the younger of the two, Michael, sources cheap old tees, bell-bottoms, and other tight-fitting vintage pieces. Their look is equally as important as their music and according to Brian, “What we do is very much a show – it wouldn’t make sense for us to wear something very basic. So right now I’m wearing the same stuff I’d wear on stage.” Brian's current style icons include Keith Moon, John Lennon ad Brian Wilson, while Michael gravitates towards the hard-edged awkward glamour of Joan Jett and the Runaways and early Lou Reed. They swap and borrow clothes constantly and experiment with hair styles on a weekly basis – in a recent interview, Michael is sporting a “David Bowie in his Aladdin Sane phase” and Brian has a Ramones-style bowl cut that covers his entire face.
I went to see the brothers in The Workman’s Club on Sunday night – Brian wore a silk cowboy shirt and sang pure and harmonious melodies through choppy bangs. Michael wore a black and white silk Beatles dressing gown and delivered natural charisma and diva-esque high-kicks with panache. I am easily impressed, especially if the Sixties and Seventies are involved, but the duo's combination of infectious tunes, harmonising vocals and theatrical pop-rock is both addictive and fascinating in equal measure.