Shoplifting with Molly Lewis

Rough Trade Records

April 29th, 2024

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Consider this your invitation to Café Molly, a lounge bar like they don’t make them anymore. The lights are low, the martinis are ice cold, the banquettes are velvet, and the stage is set for the electrifying talent of whistler Molly Lewis. 

After the exotica stylings of The Forgotten Edge EP and the tropicalia-indebted Mirage EP, Molly Lewis wanted to encapsulate the sound of Café Molly for her debut album On The Lips, a dreamy tribute to classic mood music, it conjures up misty visions of classic Hollywood jazz clubs, Italian cinema soundtracks and lingering embraces between lovers.

Recorded with producer Thomas Brenneck of the Menahan Street Band at his newly-built Diamond West Studios in Pasadena, and with something of an open door policy during the sessions, a stream of acclaimed musicians ended up across the album’s 10 tracks, including Nick Hakim, Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian guitarist Rogê, Leland Whitty and Chester Hansen of Canadian instrumental group Badbadnotgood, Chicano soul group Thee Sacred Souls appear on the melancholy “Crushed Velvet”, experimental jazz pianist Marco Benevento and El Michels Affair’s Leon Michels.With her intoxicating compositions, and wry brand of stagecraft (she might not be singing up there, but she can sure tell a joke) Molly Lewis looks set to join her heroes in the storied lore of the Los Angeles lounge scene and beyond. So pull up a chair, order your favorite drink, and prepare to fall for On The Lips.

Molly Lewis – On The Lips

LP+ candlelight gold vinyl


We caught up with Molly at our NYC store for our newest session of Shoplifting. An invitation to roam the racks in pursuit of the recorded material which has most inspired and shaped her sound today. Be sure to check out her debut On The Lips out now via Jagjaguwar.


OK, well, ABBA Gold is the first CD I ever got for Christmas. I think I was like, I don’t know, I must have been quite young, maybe 8 or 9.  But anyway, I know every song on this record by heart and it’s extremely comforting to me to hear it. My favorite song on the record for some reason is “The Name of the Game.” That one always just gets me. But yeah, I love ABBA Gold. It reminds me of growing up and it reminds me of singing along in the car with my mom and my sister. Actually, I got them tickets to the hologram experience in London and I wish I could go because I think, you know, it means a lot to our family. Well, at least the women of my family. They’re my dream collaboration, you know?   

Jose Antonio Salaman – Yomo Toro y su Conjunto

This record, I have no idea at all who Jose Antonio Salaman is, but I gotta say, I judge records by the covers and this cover is wonderful. I’ve found a lot of good records this way, just by, you know, picking something and hoping for the best. Yeah, this looks great; he’s got style and I’m excited to listen. It’s like some boleros and some tangos.  

Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings

Then we got Chet Baker; who doesn’t love Chet Baker? I really love records that I can just put on at home, mood music, obviously. I like to make music that is, you know, for a misty, rainy morning at home. For me this record is, you know, just such an ideal, beautiful, atmospheric home listen. Or put it on at a dinner party or when a lover is coming over with a bottle of wine, you know, it’s just the perfect thing to put on. I love all of these songs. I love Chet Baker’s voice.


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