Stefan Rehr grew up in a small town in Connecticut where his first foray into music began through drumming along to tracks by The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys among other mid-aughts indie rock bands. With his taste beginning to shift toward the rhythmic and melodic complexities of Bossa Nova, Samba, and early American Jazz, Rehr found his college days in Boston soundtracked by the likes of Chet Baker, João Gilberto, and Amy Winehouse. All the while he continued to drum, transcribing his favorite records while simultaneously entertaining urges to attempt writing melodies for guitar. His collegiate studies culminated during a period spent focused on the art of jazz drumming in Spain.
The Lemons project emerged after Rehr moved to Los Angeles shortly after leaving Valencia. It began as a private songwriting outlet stemming from the sudden realization that drumming in an apartment building was better suited as fantasy. Guitar quickly became Rehr’s primary vehicle for songwriting with much of his inspiration pulling from his ongoing jazz transcriptions, the classic California melodies of ‘50s and ‘60s surf rock, and the reverb-drenched, shoegaze-y sound of contemporary Los Angeles surf rock bands. Soon after settling in California, the acoustic demos written in the garden of Rehr’s then-home in Mid City developed into tighter, uptempo tracks with the help of producer and engineer, Zach Carlson. Carlson’s input and involvement encouraged Rehr to reframe the work as less of an insular songwriting exercise and more as a bedroom project that had the potential to reach a wider audience. Lemons made its debut with the self-released single, “Clover Girl,” and will follow up with their second single via Baby Blue this summer.