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"Lejeune - Smart Pop Rock"

The straight forward style of independent and smart pop rock music pioneered by bands like R.E.M., The Smiths and other artists in the 80's has managed to stay popular over the past 20 years, regardless of what trends or styles ruled the mainstream music landscape at any given time. Recent practitioners like the Washington, D.C. quartet Lejeune have helped to make this style of music thrive in the region.

The first thing you notice when listening to the band's self-titled debut album is frontman Sam Bishop's uncanny vocal resemblance to R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. It would have been easy to form a cover band to pay tribute to their mentors from Athens, Georgia, but instead the band has dedicated itself to creating its own blend of original, infectious pop.

Bishop is joined by Matthew Richardson, Greg Gendron and Ody Leonard on this nice collection of pop ditties. Some of the best songs on the band's album are "Kubasaki Ha'i," a song that has a vague American Southwest feel to it and "In Stereo" in all its unabashed pop glory. Though the album is full of memorable songs as it is, it would be great to get more than eight songs out of the band. There's no doubt that Lejeune leaves you wanting more.

- Greg Yost
- Music Monthly (March 2005)

"Lejeune - For Club and Country"

A lot of strange things have been happening lately. DC's music scene has become so loaded, that people are finally starting to take notice. There are local bands packing 9:30 Club, there are bands signing to Sub Pop after 2 shows and then there is Lejeune.

The band has been in existence since 2003, which makes them relative dinosaurs on the local scene. They released an album in 2004 and have kept a pretty low profile over the past few years, playing only a handful of local shows every year.

While the younger bands in the scene have been playing as many shows as possible, attacking the Internet and handing promo Cd's out to anyone who would take them, Lejeune have been honing their craft. They've spent the past year and a half working on their live show and putting For Club And Country together and now it's finally seeing the light of day.

It's rare to find a band that can write songs that are instantly accessible, yet don't sound like they were made to be shoved down your throat. It's even rarer to find a band who can make an actual album that is packed with them. In this age of iTunes and digital singles, For Club And Country is the rare album that is not about the individual tracks.

Yes, there are plenty of radio ready songs, but they are merely pieces to a much larger puzzle. It's a cohesive album that is enjoyable from the opening notes of "Your Serene Saturday Night" through the fade out of "Good Times." In between, exists an album full of jangly guitar, enough riffs to write a textbook and some of the most intelligent lyrics that DC has ever produced.

Some of those lyrics describe this album better than I ever could: "I want to build a monument, a mausoleum fit to represent the wreck we'll leave behind."
- InstrumentalAnalysis.com

"Lejeune: Young Hearts"

"After only a year and a half in business, Lejeune has its sound wired tight---romantic, jangly, operatic pop compiled from loving glances back at the grand gestures of the '70s and from the songcraft and irony of '80s indie."
- Washington Post Express (December 2005)

"Three Stars: Lejeune"

"...these guys sound like the band your best friend's cool older brother wouldn't stop listening to during his first summer home from college...
Lejeune's self-titled, eight-song debut has earned them the attention of podcasters and satellite radio; their live show makes them worthy of yours."
-Tom Lee
- DCist (www.dcist.com) (December 2005)

"Lejeune's CD Release Show"

The internet's an interactive place, so I'll just give props to commenter Piglet for his/her astute observation on Lejeune in the May Mixtape: "They've managed to synthesize everything that's non-cheesy about '80s music and make it their own." The local quintet has an '80s fetish that's apparent throughout "For Club and Country." From the exquisitely layered production to an overall sound that splits the difference between mid-period versions of Roxy Music and the Smiths (with a bit of Lloyd Cole thrown in), this is music that sounds like it came from an era before people knew what grunge was. Sam Bishop's croon may take a little getting used to, but ends up being a welcome constant as the band subtly shifts within its pop landscape.
--David Malitz - WashingtonPost.com (May 2007)

"Sound Check"

Ever wish The Smiths would reunite and produce an eighth album? Lejeune's For Club and Country might be the closest you'll ever get.

Sam Bishop's haunting and listless vocals echo of those of Stephen Morrissey. But his lyrics are less self-loathing and lack the angst of The Smiths, even if they are a little dark.

Lejeune would rather "build a monument, a mausoleum fit to represent the wreck we'll leave behind." (Constant Architect)

Fans of R.E.M. and classic new wave pop should check out For Club and Country. The album is well-produced and the songs carefully crafted to subtly vary from track to track.

So if you aren't listening carefully you might not even notice how many tracks you've gone through, but you don't mind going back to listen again.
--Megan Brownell - DC Style Mag (May 2007)

"Soulful pop with an indie twist."

Lejeune,"Lejeune" (Indie Release)

Soulful pop with an indie twist. The music reminds me of Dire Straits at times and R.E.M. at other times. Extremely well written pop songs that at times have a Dave Faulkner feel of delivery. They seem to be a bit more highbrow lyrically speaking than the Gurus. More on the same plane as Chris Issak. Yeah, that’s whom I would compare this too. This is for fans of Chris Issak, R.E.M. and the Dire Straits with a little taste of the Hoodoo Gurus thrown in for good measure.

- J.R. Oliver
- Ear Candy (December 2004)

"“Kubasaki Ha’i”-- a swingy indie tune"

Lejeune - Lejeune

You’re riding through the desert in some remote region just south of Las Vegas and on the radio is “Kubasaki Ha’i”, which you’ll be surprised to find is the work of DC-native Lejeune, a swingy indie tune that’s not quite rockabilly but not quite indie pop either. You wouldn’t have been that surprised to find out that it was from a quartet from Athens, Georgia in the ‘80s or the b-side on some obscure Morrissey throwaway. Regardless of the origins, you’re just hoping that this particular radio station has a lazy DJ that’s fallen asleep at the wheel and left the rest of the CD to play over the air commercial-free, as the dust rustles about your rented convertible.

- J-Sin
http://www.smother.net/reviews/modernrock.php3?ID=723 - Smother.net (November 2004)


Washington DC ist natürlich bekannt für seine HC-Tradition. Dischord und FUGAZI fallen einem als erstes ein, aber sicherlich nicht bodenständiger Gitarrenrock im Sinne der späten Achtziger. Dies ändern nun Sam Bishop und seine drei Mitstreiter von LEJEUNE. Sie stehen voll und ganz in der Tradition von Gitarrenrock-Bands wie R.

E.M., THE DB'S, THE CHURCH und den TRIFFIDS. Wirkt das Ganze zunächst ein wenig unspektakulär, gewinnt die Musik von LEJEUNE von Durchlauf zu Durchlauf. Insbesondere die mit viel Reverb gespielte Surf-Leadgitarre und der sehnsüchtig croonende Gesang von Sam Bishop machen den Sound von LEJEUNE zu etwas Besonderem.

Im Prinzip würden sie ideal in die Besetzung eines Surf-Music-Festivals an kalifornischen Stränden passen, wo sie die Zuschauer zu später Stunde in eine ziemlich relaxte Stimmung versetzen würden. (27:19) (07/10)

© by OX-FANZINE [59] und Frank Dietrich
- OX-Fanzine (Germany)(July 2005)

"Album Review: Lejeune"

The two most popular decades for history revisitists right now are the 70’s and the 80’s... Lejeune fall into the latter camp, but they’ve managed to reinvent what made the 80's great without sinking into simple parody or becoming a novelty act. It’s the difference between imitation and influence. Lejeune don’t wear their influences on their sleeves...

...Top 5 reasons why Lejeune deserve to be famous:

1. Matthew Richardson’s reverberated surf guitar machinations
2. Songs packed with maximum chords per square inch
3. Funny-sounding French name
4. Intricate production values
5. A singer with his own voice, not one pinched from Total Request Live

- Ben McCombs
- PodSafeAudio.com (September 2005)


For Club and Country (2007)
Lejeune (2005)

Radio Airplay for *For Club and Country*
AL – Auburn University – WEGL
AZ – Tucson – KAMP
AZ – Tempe – KASC
CA – Long Beach – KBEACH
CA – Sacramento – KSSU
CA – LaVerne – KULV
CA – Nevada City – KVMR
CA – Santa Cruz - KZSC
CA – Irvine – KUCI
CA – Los Angeles – KXLU
CA – Norwalk – WPMD (#20)
CO – Crested Butte – KBUT
CO – Fort Collins – KCSU
CT – New Britain – WFCS
CT – Storrs – WHUS
DC – Washington – WVAU
DE – Georgetown – WDTS
DE – Newark – WVUD
FL – Tampa – WMNF
GA – Atlanta – WRAS
IA – Mt. Vernon – KRNL
IA – Cedar Falls – KUNI
IA – Ames – KURE
IA – Decorah – KWLC
ID – Moscow – KRFP (#19)
IL – Summit – WARG
IL – Lake Forest – WMXM
IL – Chicago – WRDP
IN – Valparaiso – WVUR
IN – Bloomington – WFHB
LA – Ruston – KLPI
MA – Boston – BiRN
MA – South Hadley – WMHC
MA – Boston – WTBU
MA – Springfield – WTCC
MA – Boston – WECB
MD – Baltimore – WLOY
MD – Salisbury – WXSU (#7)
ME – Brunswick – WBOR
ME – Rockland – WRFR
ME – East Orland – WERU-2
MI – Albion – WLBN
MI – Kalamazoo – WIDR
MN – Minneapolis – KUOM
MN – St. Paul – WMCN
MO – Columbia – KCOU
MO – Rolla – KMNR
MO – St. Louis – KDHX
MO – St. Louis – The Galaxy (#8)
MO – Kansas City – KCUR (#25)
MT – Bozeman – KGLT
NC – Boone – WASU
NC – Raleigh – WKNC
NH – Durham – WUNH (#24)
NJ – Piscataway – RLC
NJ – Upper Montclair – WMSC
NJ – Ewing – WTSR
NM – Las Cruces – KRUX
NV – Reno – NVWR
NY – Fredonia – WCVF
NY – Geneva – WEOS
NY – New Paltz – WFNP
NY – Annandale-on-Hudson – WXBC
NY – Ithaca – WICB
NY – Hamilton – WRCU (#10)
NY – Hempstead – WRHU (#16)
NY – Buffalo – WBNY (#21)
OH – Westerville – WOBN
OH – Athens – WOUB-AM
OR – Corvallis – KBVR
PA – Wilkes-Barre – WCLH
PA – Shippensburg – WSYC
PA – West Chester – WCUR
PA – Millersville – WIXQ
PA – Philadelphia – WKDU
PA – Pittsburgh – WPPJ
PA – Grove City – WSAJ
PA – Johnstown - WUPJ
PA – Collegeville – WVOU
PA – Philadelphia – WQHS
SC – Clemson – WSBF
TN – Chattanooga – WAWL
TX – Fort Worth – KTCU
TX – Richardson – Radio UTD
UT – Ogden – KWCR
UT – Salt Lake City – KRCL
VA – Norfolk – WODU (#19)
VT – Burlington – WRUV
VT – Plainfield – WGDR
WA – Walla Walla – KWCW
WA – Seattle – Rainy Dawg Radio
WI – Appleton – WLFM
WI – Milwaukee – WMSE
WI – Milwaukee – WMUR
XM - Satellite Radio

BC-Canada – Vancouver – CITR
PQ-Canada – Montreal – CJLO

Lejeune's music is a favorite of podcasters worldwide, with its songs being featured in over 200 podcasts in 15 countries.



Washington, DC's Lejeune writes and performs romantic pop rock about the usual: Japanese nightclubs, dormroom affairs, street violence, and magical thinking. The seasoned ensemble has honed its robust and velvety sound, finding inspiration in ‘60s torch singers, spaghetti-western soundtracks, and new wave pop.

The quintet's sophomore effort, For Club and Country, was recorded at Richmond’s Sound of Music Studios in late 2006 with noted producer Alan Weatherhead (Cracker, Nina Persson, Sparklehorse), and captures Lejeune’s big live sound in intimate detail.

Comprised of equal measures twang and rock, with a touch of new wave, Lejeune’s literate songs range from the concise pop of “Bizarre Histrionics” to the epic balladry of “I Am in Your Corner,” visiting many unexpected places in between.

The LP's opening track, “Your Serene Saturday Night,”—featuring dark verses, wide-open choruses of measured optimism, deep bass tones, crisp acoustic guitars, booming, cavernous drums and “deep fried” electric guitar work—evokes the sounds and themes of the entire album in just four minutes.

For Club and Country’s 11 songs are a document of Lejeune’s many transformations since the 2004 release of their eponymous album. The 2006 addition of J. Forté’s keyboard and backing vocals belies a larger theme of broader strokes on a grander canvas. Matthew Richardson’s distinctive lead guitar is still leading the charge while Sam Bishop’s arresting lyrics and assertive vocals traverse more adventurous territory. Alternately revealing and narrative, these songs are the atlas advising a new expedition for Lejeune.