As legend has it, Lionel Boy’s main focus was skateboarding before dipping into a studio for the first time in 2018 for a session which began with the Hawaiian-born, Long Beach–based artist mostly just goofing off. Yet it’s hard to hear either of those sides of the artist—aggressively risk-taking or foremostly jokey—on his newly released self-titled debut, which mostly channel’s Lionel’s penchant for relaxed guitar noodling, introspective lyricism, and consistent experimentation across numerous chilled-out genres.
Among the record’s chillest tracks is “Tides,” which Lionel managed to relax even further for his “Neighborhoods” performance of the tune. With just an acoustic guitar and a dusky nautical backdrop, the artist brought the song a whole new vibe in Long Beach. “Ideally, I would’ve wanted to shoot this back home in Hawaii,” he shares, “but the next best thing was to rent a little Duffy boat and take it around the harbor. I’ve lived in Long Beach for seven years, and I’d always see folks riding around in these little boats. I figured it was time we tried it ourselves.”
Watch the performance—filmed by Casey Liu—below.