If anyone has noticed, a lot of new names for music genres have cropped up in the past few years. They range from mildly incomprehensible to completely absurd, usually end with a suffix of .wave or .core (e.g. chillwave, vaporwave, witchcore, etc) and usually describe elecronic-based music uploaded independently to sites like soundcloud by young aspiring musicians. This is not a new thing, however, because we as music consumers have been obsessed with labeling everything we listen to for as long as anyone can remember. I was about to pull a page from the 90s to describe Toronto’s Lemon. (period included), as her vocals and smooth beats instantly evoked echos of the trip-hop sounds of Portishead.
Lemon. (aka Victoria Sheahan) deserves more credit than that. An alumni of Toronto’s youth music mentoring organization The Remix Project, Lemon. is generating lots of buzz for her five-song sampling up on Soundcloud. It’s not hard to see why. R&B and hip-hop sites want to claim her for their own, and yet her lack of adherence to any known genre is paramount. Every label anyone tries to place on Lemon. refuses to stick.
Strong, melodic voice presence mixes easily with with the spare background beat of “Dope Baby” as the perfect ingredients in a tranquilizing chill-out cocktail of a song. Her cover of the Nirvana classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a lovely surprise because it never goes in the predictable direction you expect a stripped-down cover of a heavy song to go in, instead relying on sound texture with the singer’s remarkable voice as a guide.
This is an artist we need to keep an eye on, because her uniqueness and versatility could mean big things are in store in 2016.