Photo Cred: Raphael Gaultier
Based out of Seattle, Sea Lemon is the new solo project of 26-year-old songwriter Natalie Lew. After picking up an electric guitar for the first time in 2019, Natalie discovered a love for writing, recording, and producing music. Natalie’s first band Climates, an all-female grunge project based out of Brooklyn, where she formerly lived, gave her an unshakeable desire to make something uniquely her own.
“Sunday,” Sea Lemon’s (Natalie Lew) first release, is an uptempo dream pop song about the dichotomy of how easy it be to sabotage relationships—friendships and romantic relationships alike—and how, from the outside, those ‘sabotaged’ in relationships often aren’t privy to the fact that there’s an issue in the first place.
“Sunday” was inspire Natalie’s guilty and anxious feelings during the pandemic, all circling around not being physically around those closest to her, and how that stress and anxiety built day by day into a cloud of untamable worry. The closing line of the chorus ‘but it’s over now,’ is meant both from the perspective of the the person sabotaging a relationship—feeling that the relationship may as well be ‘over now’—and the perspective of the person on the other side, wanting to tell their loved one that the past can live in the past, and to let bygones be bygones.
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always really leaned into the arts (I’m also an interaction designer!), and grew up wanting to actually be on the other side of the music industry and work in A&R. I never saw myself as a performer or musician though, until in 2019, my roommate in New York brought home a new guitar and encouraged me to learn—after that, I quickly joined a a grunge pop band called Climates! I played with them for a while, and then once the pandemic hit, I moved back to Seattle (my hometown) and started making my own solo project music, and here we are!
Any funny anecdotes from the time you were recording or writing the album?
My producer (Stefan Mac) and I worked on this song together remotely, and let me just say—the tools for working remotely are complicated but once you get the hang of them they’re insanely powerful! We probably spent half of the first day just re-dialing and calling on 10 different platforms and getting the sounds to come out of the right places.
What’s a record that shaped your creativity?
Dehd’s Flower of Devotion is an album that I’ve listened to countless times the past year. The album is loaded with powerful 90s guitars and dreaminess, while feeling very current and their own. I love how true to a live sound the album feels—almost like you’re hearing them play in your own living room. When writing music recently, I’ve asked myself how I’d think a drum part or a guitar part from Dehd might fit into a song I’m working on.
Who is an artist or band you look up to these days?
I’m so inspired by the artist Mini Trees. Her work captures a very real bittersweet longing and nostalgia, which is a sentiment I aspire to capture in my own music. On top of some absolutely phenomenal lyricism, her melodies and instrumentation feels powerfully unique and distinct. She’s making music all her own and it’s really special. As a half-asian woman myself, she’s been a huge inspiration to me in a lot of ways.
Any future projects?
I’m working on an EP to be released next year! It’ll be a mix of jangly guitars, bright synth sounds, and more. It’s in the works and I can’t wait to eventually release it! This is the first song off of the EP, with another single coming soon.
What does music mean to you?
Music ultimately is one of the biggest things that brings me joy on a daily basis! Playing music is such a collaborative experience, and playing live music brings me a happiness unlike any other. I’m obsessed with the fun in finding new artists, seeing artists live, and connecting with others about music.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
I think I’d describe my sound as glittery dreampop good for rolling the windows in the car down, enjoying a late summer day while sipping on an XL-sized cherry slushee from nearby 7-11 as you drive to nowhere.