EP Review: PUBLIC – Sweet Lemonade

Despite still being unsigned, PUBLIC continues to open for ever-bigger bands like Twenty One Pilots this past month and has just released their third EP, “Sweet Lemonade”. It’s a far cry from “Let’s Remake It” and “Red”, but it also seems to be much more true to the band’s image: sweet, poppy, and definitely catchy.

a0390128841_10.jpgDespite five tracks, this EP seems to have less body than previous PUBLIC records. Maybe it’s because it’s bubblier and lighter, maybe because they sound a little more like Top-100, maybe because “citrus” is indeed a word that could be applied to any of the songs, even without knowing the EP’s accurate title. They’re all just a touch sweet-and-sour, that blend that you only really get with lemonade that’s been over-sugared and has too much bite.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though – yes, the album is lighter and definitely much more “poppy”, but again, the candy colors that this album seems to be full of mesh well with the band’s fun, not-too-serious attitude. “4Her” is bright, pale orange, and electric yellow, with just the barest hints of the edgier sounds in previous EPs like “Red”. It’s catchier, and while I don’t like it as much as their older works, I’m glad that they seem to be migrating towards a sound that fits their vibe.

Photo: Roger Phelps

When I first saw PUBLIC open for Walk The Moon, I was a little fourteen-year-old, going to my first concert with my best friend. I’m the one in the denim shirt below.

PUBLIC, Izz, and I, circa 2015.

Oh yeah, it’s quite the photo: wet hair, braces, and all. (Keep in mind that this is after it rained through the first two openers.) Shortly after I started Indientry later that year, PUBLIC was one of my first-ever interviews and I wrote about a whole bunch of their music in what is still Indientry’s only “artist” review.

Anyway, my point is that I’ve been a PUBLIC fan for a few years. While I do enjoy “Sweet Lemonade”, I definitely prefer their earlier stuff that had a bit more of an edge. Again, though, if they’re happy with the music that they’re making, then I’m happy for them. Besides, sometimes it’s fun to lose yourself in something not-too-deep and catchy.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


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