Lemonade Diver

In just the span of four years, Brooklyn-via-San Francisco trio Lemonade have undergone a remarkable evolution. Their 2008 self-titled debut was a predominantly vigorous one that presented a hodgepodge of influences, ranging from rave and post-punk to house and world music. The transitional Pure Moods EP (which was released on a USB bracelet, of all things) came two years later, which added and removed a few genres, hinting at a more subdued, pop-leaning direction. Diver is the finished product. Finding common ground with labelmates Tanlines, in using dance music as their impetus, the sharp, vibrant production of the band and co-producer Le Chec is allowed to wander effectively. And the reach is far, moving from the cascading, staccato beats of UK garage that dominate both "Eye Drops" and "Vivid" to a neutral zone of Euro-dance and '80s synth-pop on "Softkiss" and "Ice Water." That '90s R&B influence that's everywhere right now also appears, permeating the Balearic percussion on the evocative "Neptune," a magnificent single that showcases Callan Clendenin's rich, wistful voice. As the press release states, Diver completes Lemonade's transformation from jerky, banger makers into wistful, all-encompassing pop sophisticates. That it was done so flawlessly makes it such a triumph on their part. (True Panther Sounds)