Staying out of the box: Oli Leimbach on why Lime Cordiale will never pin down their sound

Sitting in their own unique piece of shade under the great, indiscernible alternative/surf rock umbrella, there’s no doubt Lime Cordiale shine a few ounces brighter the rest of the crowd.

The duo comprised of Oli and Louis Leimbach have done nothing but kill it around town since they first caught our eye many years ago. Recently their name popped up at the top of Wollombi Music Festival’s stacked ticket, and we thought it was high time we caught up again.

Breaking moulds, bedroom studios and the beauty of the beaches: we take five with Oli Leimbach from Lime Cordiale.

HAPPY: It’s anyone’s guess what we can expect to hear your upcoming debut album. Have you stuck to your soulful, indie-pop roots or can we expect a new development?

OLI: We haven’t tried to sound like anything on this album. I think we’ve done our fair share of experimenting, trying to go this way or that. We wrote about 50 songs for this album and 11 have made the cut. We had a lot of material to choose from so this album is feeling pretty strong. I’m not quite sure how bands manage to stick with a ‘sound’. Our references during the recording process range from Biggie Smalls to Beach Boys.

HAPPY: I’ve previously read that you and Louis live together. Is this a petri-dish for sibling rivalry, or perhaps a positive for the creative process?

OLI: Yeah, we always have. We’re not constantly working as a pair but we never have to arrange a meeting. I can’t really imagine having to organise a weekly meet-up. Or maybe that would be a good thing? I dunno. He’s got his bedroom studio, I’ve got mine and then we bring it all together. We should get Mum and Dad to move in… then we’ll have the whole band back together!

HAPPY: Waking Up Easy is probably my favourite Lime Cordiale video. What was the idea behind the clip, and does it resonate with the lyrics?

OLI: I’ve gotta give a shout out to Chris Bland who has shot a lot of our music videos. And we’ve got a few more on the way. We wrote Waking Up Easy in Los Angeles after a pretty big night. I picked up Louis from a girl’s house in the morning and then we wrote the song that day. The music video doesn’t tell that story. We wanted to explore a different interpretation of the song.

HAPPY: It looks like it was filmed around the Northern Beaches. How does city life compare to what the beaches have to offer?

OLI: We grew up on the Northern Beaches and our parents are still there. We end up moving back every now and then when we’re desperately poor. It’s nice being able to surf every day with no traffic in the way but when the sun goes down, there’s nothing to do. Everyone goes to bed and you can’t even throw good party.

A nice bar or venue will open up in Avalon or Palm Beach every now and then and maybe last six months or a year. The generation that’s constantly raving about the good old days on the Northern Beaches are the ones making the noise complaints. It’s getting ridiculous but yeah, it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

HAPPY: With such a blend of genres in your own music, who do you look up to musically, or draw inspiration from?

OLI: We’re not necessarily out to smack a bunch of genres together but we do listen to a pretty wide range of music and I think if something resonates with us, we often try to incorporate it. The top of our Spotify saved songs at the moment has Mac Demarco, Saskwatch, Pond, Michael Kiwanuka, Eels, Father John Misty, Paul McCartney and Astor Piazzolla. You can’t really put those guys in a box together now, can ya?

HAPPY: You guys have conquered Australia with a decent run of sold out shows over the years. Are any international destinations on the cards for Lime Cordiale?

OLI: I’d really like to get back to the US. And we had a great time in New Zealand in January. It’s a bit of a thrill heading overseas to find people singing your lyrics, it means that they feel as though they know you… and then we tend to ask if they have a floor to sleep on. And then we become friends and they show us around town. And then we stay there for a week.


Lime Cordiale will be playing Wollombi Music Festival on September 30 with Caiti Baker, Dubarry and heaps more. Check out the full lineup, tickets and any more info on the Wollombi website.