A little anxious but attractive to listeners who dig chic grooves in contemporary pop, the sensuous and alluring beats in “Lemon” are perhaps the perfect yin to the yang that is Hewas’ lead vocal. If you’ve never heard of Hewas before, don’t feel left out – “Lemon” is his official studio debut, and it’s hitting record store shelves at a particularly important time this season. Eclectically stylized but not quite as abstract as avant-pop would be, this single takes the concept of urban pop in a completely unique direction, borrowing as much from minimalist electropop as it does melodic hip-hop. There’s something special about what this song brings to the table, and surface substance has little to do with it.
This track has such a great fluidity that I have wondered whether or not it was recorded in a stream of consciousness style as opposed to having been rehearsed for hours, if not days, beforehand. It reminds me a lot of the crossover hip-hop that started to gain momentum towards the end of the 2000’s only to be overtaken by other aesthetical ideas in the rap genre, though this is definitely not easy to categorize no matter what channel through which you analyze it. Hewas’ influences are probably as vast as the pop lexicon itself, but I will say that he sounds very in-tune with his natural artistry in “Lemon” just the same. He’s taking his foray into the spotlight slow, which is the best way to build a reputation for perfection in my opinion.
The framework here is all pop from top to bottom, but there’s also a relaxed jazziness to the vocal’s relationship with the bassline that I would have loved Hewas to explore more. The eccentricities in this master mix are what make the music feel so versatile and transcendent of the limitations that other pop artists would just as soon crumble under. There’s a lot of different components that I’d like to hear this songwriter tackle in future endeavors, but in “Lemon,” I think he gives us the perfect balance of odd harmonies and familiar grooves to get accustom to his artistic narrative. Hewas has plenty of rivals in every corner of the world, but judging from these chops, he isn’t sweating this race to the top at all.
I’m not usually much for black and white pop music, but I honestly think Hewas’ “Lemon” is one of the few five star-quality singles I’ve heard in the genre since the start of 2020. It could be intriguing to hear a couple of remixes of this track just to understand the kind of compositional depth this songwriter has under his belt, but even if this is the only take on “Lemon” we get before the year expires, I think it will be more than enough to get Hewas some airplay in the next seven months. He has the right stuff to go a long way in this business, and he’s using it to his advantage exceptionally well here.