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Standout Track: No. 3, “Lemon Tree,” a sprightly indie-folk number from Pree, the fourpiece helmed by ex-Le Loup guitarist May Tabol. The track appears on the band’s debut album, released in October on Brooklyn’s Paper Garden Records. Don’t be fooled by the song’s sunny exterior, with its galloping piano riff and twinkling glockenspiel: “Lemon Tree” is rooted in somber imagery. In her characteristic Feist-y lilt, Tabol sings, “A rope’s an awful thing to give someone happy on the ground.”
Musical Motivation: “I like taking lighter melodies and accompanying them with darker themes,” Tabol says. This song’s troubled characters were inspired by The Scarlet Letter, a book whose meditations on “pride, shame, and not being willing to admit when you’ve made mistakes” made an impression on the singer. Tabol’s vivid lyrics paint a portrait of two characters who look for solace in each other, but end up estranged: “Now I’m giving only what I’ve found/I hear you’re living deep inside the ground.”
Know Your Rights: Like most of Folly, the base tracks for “Lemon Tree” were recorded in an abandoned Petworth group house. In the summer of 2010, Tabol’s landlord skipped town, but unlike her two roommates, she decided to stick around and make the most of the grace period before the bank came knocking. “I set up a recording room in one of the bedrooms and a vocal room in the closet,” she says. By summer’s end, she wound up with more than just an album’s worth of demos. Laughing, she says, “I’d also learned a lot about tenants’ rights.”