Artist Spotlight: Lime Cordiale

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on April 17, 2014

Lime Cordiale via the band

If you're looking for a new band to soundtrack your summer, look no further than Australia's Lime Cordiale. Fronted by brothers Oli and Louis Leimbach, Lime Cordiale is dance-friendly indie rock being hailed as "uniquely Australian," a description the brothers admittedly do not understand. But to non-Aussie listeners, uniquely Australian is synonymous with the music you'd listen to on a beach or in a surf bar after the sun goes down. With pop hooks, brass elements, and a synth bow tying it all together, that's exactly what Lime Cordiale's audience gets. 

The touring quintet got their start in Sydney's northern beaches and, for the past few months, have been attempting to find a similar vibe along North America's west coast. On the tail end of that tour, which also included a stop at SXSW, we got Oli to answer a few questions on the band's way back to Australia for Byron Bay Bluesfest this weekend. Read on to find out how Lime Cordiale has branched out into the US, how touring effects their creative process, and what song Oli came up with about our interview.

While reading, stream their new EP Falling Up The Stairs

Lime Cordiale is relatively new to American listeners, how has your reception been touring in the US compared to in Australia? 
We’re heading back to Australia for 6 weeks in a few days. We have one more show in Orange County this week but we’ll be back in June. We’ve played about 20 shows here in the U.S. Most shows have been really great. Some shows have been a bit average. We’ve had guitar amps blow up, gear not turn up and heavy metal bands support us. But first tours to new places are always unexpected. That’s what makes it exciting!

Your sound has been described as “uniquely Australian,” do you think this is a fitting description? How do you think this sound translates outside of Australia?
I’m yet to really understand what “uniquely Australian” is. I guess it’s that summer/beachy sound that has come naturally to us from growing out of Sydney’s Beaches. Our first year of shows were at house parties and in bars full of drunk, messy surfers. And that really changed our sound. We had to play louder and keep these zombies dancing. So we’re spending most of this year on the West Coast of America, trying to replicate what we did in our Australian early years…. But with a bit more of a plan.

You’ve been on tour in California and also made an appearance in Austin for SXSW, what have your favorite cities been so far? 
Everywhere’s been exciting. All these cities are so new to us. Los Angeles has started to feel like home to us because we’ve spent so much time here. We have family in San Diego so that kinda is home. Vegas is wild but it doesn’t feel real. Crazy, crazy place. We keep going back to Santa Barbara to surf. Love that town. I wish we got to spend more time in San Francisco… we’ll be back in June.

Do you think you’ll incorporate any of your American travels into your music when you return to Australia? 
We just finished writing a song about Los Angeles. I think I’ll write one about this interview. It’ll go: “I’m so sweeeeaty, writing an interview in my underweeear, I should caaare because I’m getting fat in Americaaaa.”

How does traveling and touring effect your creative process? 
I don’t think we’ve got used to it yet. We’re used to having a swim in the morning and then going home to write some music. Sleeping on floors in different cities every night is a pretty unusual lifestyle. In Australia, we tend to do lots of small tours and sleep back in Sydney in between these dates. We’ll have to figure out a way of making it work when we get back.

You’re gearing up to play Byron Bay Bluesfest when you return to Australia, have you played the festival or Byron Bay before? 
We’ve played Byron quite a few times but not Bluesfest. I LOVE playing in Byron Bay. It’s an absolutely incredible part of the world with some of the best beaches. It’ll be an uplifting show to go back to.

What are some of your favorite places or things to do in Byron Bay?
The rest of our band gets a bit shitty at us on the drive to Byron because we shove surfboards in between their heads in the tour van. We aim to get to Byron early and go to the beach. There’s an amazing 24 hour bakery there that’s got killer pies and custard tarts. That’s also a must.

What about in your home town of Sydney? Where would you recommend people go when visiting? 
We grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. It’s amazing up there. Now we’re on Bondi Beach, a great taste of Sydney beaches and real close to the city. Hit up The Oxford Arts Factory, The Beresford or Goodgod Small Club for live music. Grab a beer from bottleshop and come over to our house for a drink. 

Lime Cordiale play Byron Bay Bluesfest Saturday April 19 and Monday April 21 and will be back on tour in North America this June. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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36 Hours in Byron Bay, Australia
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