Mt. Joy’s New Single Is A Celebration of Positivity

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As artists have had downtime due to limited live performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, new music is everywhere. Now that concert venues are opening back up and COVID-19 restrictions are easing in most places, bands are touring and releasing new music very frequently.

On March 18, indie rock band Mt. Joy dropped their first single since their pre-election song, “New President” in 2020. The group has confirmed on Instagram that their third album is complete, so their March 18 single, “Lemon Tree,” is just a taste of what can be expected of their upcoming album.

After the release of their first full album, self-titled “Mt. Joy” in 2018, fans and critics wondered if this all-star band was too good to be true. Many artists peak at their debut album, as it is often when they are filled with the most motivation and most originality, untouched by the media and the music industry. Luckily for countless alternative rock fans, this is not the case with Mt. Joy. After their sophomore album, “Rearrange Us” made the Billboard 200 in 2020, Mt. Joy escaped the realm of one-album-wonders and solidified their status as an alternative rock band. 

The single, “Lemon Tree,” accompanied by a psychedelic music video, has been long anticipated, as Mt. Joy has been performing it live since the spring of 2021. 

The head-nodding tune begins with a mellow, whimsical guitar strum followed by lead guitarist Sam Cooper’s delicate guitar riff that repeats throughout the song. The opening line “I just found a lemon tree” is sung in a soothing, airy breath by lead singer, Matt Quinn. After the drums and keyboard emerge, the track’s chorus picks up as it builds towards the cathartic release of a harsher, off-kilter guitar. 

On Mt. Joy’s YouTube channel, Quinn stated that the lyrics of “Lemon Tree” are “about leaning into positive energy and accepting what you can’t change,” which is evident in lines like “The sweetness is around the seed” and “I’m learning to keep going.” Quinn remarks that the lyrics explore the “cliche” of trying to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. 

Cooper’s guitar solo is an elegant breed with Quinn’s classic vocal belt-out that can shake the ground beneath any audience. The four-minute jam leaves us with wisdom for any situation: “Let it roll now that we’re alive.” We’ve spent too much time cooped up in our homes, isolated from others. After two years of uncertainty, cancellations, and disappointment, it’s time to live and take Mt. Joy’s advice: “Let it roll” because we finally can.

This story was written by Clare Lindstrom. She can be reached at clare.lindstrom@marquette.edu.