Meet Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the guerilla-folk party-punk massive band from Toronto. Recently the band dropped a new album, If I Had The Strength.
Over the last eight years, the band has performed throughout the world, including WOMAD in New Zealand, Pohoda in Slovakia, Festival D’Été in Québec City, and Luminato in Toronto.
If I Had The Strength took two years to make and was inspired by a vast array of folk traditions from Eastern Europe. In fact, rather than simply a collection of unconnected songs, the songs make use of a narrative arc.
“This is an album about coming home, about never being the same, about the parts of ourselves we lose, the parts we gain, and about the prisons we inhabit or that inhabit us,” says Lemon Bucket Orkestra ringleader, Mark Marczyk.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is: IAN TULLOCH (sousaphone), OS KAR (savage drums, screams), MARICHKA MARCZYK (accordion, vocals), MICHAEL LOUIS JOHNSON (trumpet), JULIAN SELODY (saxophone), JAASH SINGH (darbouka), ALEX NAHIRNY (guitar), MARK MARCZYK (violin, vocals), STEPHANIA WOLOSHYN (dance, percussion, vocals), NATHAN DELL-VANDENBERG (trombone), and JAMES McKIE (violin).
Comprising 11-tracks, the album opens with “The Game,” a measured, soulful jazz number mirroring pre-WWII flavors encompassing a tight bass line and mellow horns that grow brighter and brighter. As the album progresses, the best tracks include “Crooked,” which, for lack of a better term, I call gypsy-punk music, eccentric and galloping on high-notes and deep blooping tones from the trombone.
“Soldat” combines circus music with Eastern European gypsy-hip-hop, and features a rumbling trumpet atop a syncopated groove. “When” starts out with trembling a cappella voices merging into a martial-sounding folk tune full of determination as well as vestiges of regret. “Heroes” is a rousing European folk tune, like something you would hear at a festival in some small town in the Crimea. Pale, ghostly vocal harmonies infuse the tune with delicious sonority.
If I Had The Strength is delightful, full of traditional textured tones, and compact, potent rhythms. I dare say it’s unlike anything people in the 21st Century have heard before.