By Megan Dawson

I discovered lighthearted (stylized in all-lowercase) in the local music section of the WUOG rotation shelf during my shift earlier this spring. The two tracks off of their newest album from here on out, “riverside ft. Cannonandtheboxes” and “from here on out” stuck out to me with such brilliance that I was determined to see their live performance at Georgia Theatre this past Wednesday, March 27th.

The band on stage consisted of twins, Eliza Lemmon (vocals, guitar) and Gracie Huffman (vocals, keys, guitar), as well as Tony Hunlow (drums), Win Cawthorne (electric guitar), and Owen Lange (bass). Supporting acts, indie-rock act Mckendrick Bearden and honky-tonk jam band Howdies All Around  helped make the entire lineup local to Athens, GA. lighthearted expressed, not only with their openers but also with words, their support of the local Athens music scene.

Once the band popped on stage the energy in the room elevated and spread right through the audience. They opened with “ghost,” the fifth track off of their newest record, followed by “stains” and “the cold.” From start to finish, I couldn’t help but note the ethereal harmonies and how in sync the twins were with their movements throughout the night. When there was a pause in vocals, they would both step backward and then back up to the mic in perfect unison as if they were a single unit.

For the fourth song on their setlist, lighthearted was joined by another Athens artist, Cannon Rogers of Cannonandtheboxes, the featured artist from “riverside.” He added the harmonica component which, when I spoke to Gracie Huffman after the show, she said that it completely transformed the song, and I couldn’t help but agree. “riverside” was then followed by “harvester,” “that’s the day,” and “wild woods.”

Before the band took a break and the twins took over for a two-song acoustic set, they played a new song, “Borrowed,” that they had just played live for the first time the night before in Greenville, SC. Snippets of the poetic and thought-provoking song can be found on their social media, and I personally can’t wait for it to be released on streaming platforms. Gracie introduced the song with the remark that it was written after a breakup when she was doing some reflecting; reflection which produced the idea that we’re all on borrowed time, whether it’s with any person in our lives or our time on Earth. The hook “We all live on borrowed time / I gladly gave you some of mine” left me pondering. I admire and envy Gracie’s skill to put it into better words than I can and translate these feelings into such a gorgeous song.

After this the twins had the cutest fan interaction: a fan had made homemade ink-printed posters for each of the twins, which Eliza held up to show the crowd and everybody awed over. Seriously, the posters were very well made and the artist created such a sick visual. This moment was then followed by unreleased tracks “Must I Do It Alone?” and “Call a Truce.”

Their album’s title track starts after the acoustic break, with Eliza taking over bass guitar and Owen Lange taking over her six-string then stepping up to one of the front mics. While the track was originally written and produced with vocals of Aiden Hill, Owen’s execution of it was exceptional on the Georgia Theatre stage. The pair and the rest of the band were phenomenal as they performed this gorgeous duet. From what I inferred, the song relays an emotional conversation between two parties and their perspectives of where they are now with each other post-relationship—both ending with the notion that they can’t end up together again. It is an incredibly moving track in which the harmonies, lyrics, and instrumentals immerse you in the emotions coating the music. I can’t explain how intricate and captivating this track is, both on the album and live, and I think the rest of the crowd would agree. It is one of my favorites off of the record. 

After their ‘last song’, “This Old Car,” the band went off stage before the crowd called them back on for what turned out to be an incredible encore, despite some technical difficulties. The acoustic guitar that they had been using throughout the night was discovered to be completely out of tune upon the first couple of strums of “again & again.” Gracie attempted to retune what was revealed to be an instrument from the 1930s, but after a few minutes of unsuccessful tuning, she decided to ditch it, unravel the mic from the stand, and dance while she sang. The ending performance seemed to be fueled more and more by the increasing energy of the band and crowd. I mean, what an end to an incredible concert.

lighthearted at the Georgia Theatre (photo by Megan Dawson)

Even days after the show, I can confidently say that they are the type of performers that make you even more obsessed with them and their music after seeing them live. They had such a pure energy, proving their name to be accurate – there is nothing else that can describe this band other than lighthearted.