Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You can have Adele (bless her heart) just give me Little Star (and bands like them)

New musical discoveries just makes life better. Sometimes I find out about new music (to me) because it come to me through the blog but oftentimes it is more random than that. I may be looking at my Twitter feed and see an interesting or funny comment, then ping pong off that to a response or a re-post by that user who seems to have interesting tastes in music and bam, there it is. A band I have never heard of and then the Google search commences. That is how I found out about Little Star.

I am still checking them out, immersing myself in their sound and trying to figure out their take on things. They released an album via Bandcamp in February called "Love and Kisses" and a cassette
called "The Romantic World of Little Star" which dropped in March. Currently I am deep into "Love and Kisses" and I like what I am hearing. The recordings feel home brewed. The sound quality is actually fine but the record does not have a mastered sound but that has never bothered me. It is all about the songs and the bands creative aesthetic and I get the sense that some of these songs were recorded kind of fresh like they got what they want figured out and recorded quickly. Like they didn't work the song to death over months and if that is the case it works. In any event, if there is one thing I believe all bands should strive to have is pretty good recording gear and to self -record not only full fledged songs but song in embryo too.

The songs on "Love and Kisses" have a kind of emotionally down turned sound with cascading progressions and vocal melodies that feel sad. It makes for a beautiful somber dreamy affair like being curled up on the couch on a rainy day, wrapped up in a blanket and not know which direction to take your life. At least that is what I felt or maybe am projecting. Oh shit.

"Love and Kisses" might have the dreamiest song ever that touches on masturbation (I think) .... no seriously. The bass line is so engaging, love everything about it and it is about longing, crushes or love and such. It is called Into The Tissue (for Grandpa Bob). When I heard it, I thought of The Cure as I did when I listened to Wart. The acoustic and intimate Long Long Time with it;s upfront almost "on the phone" vocal presentation is just amazingly beautiful. I love this song. It is the kind of song you want to embody and you want to perform yourself (where is that guitar?).

The album starts off with three "ritual" songs. Night time Ritual feels very surreal and pretty at the same time with a dirty guitar carrying the song. It feels art rocky with a glam heart. Calm Ritual #2 is a kind of proggish punk song and the guitar lines and progressions go in unexpected places.... half steps when you least expect it and off kilter de-tuned-ish sounds and then the song just ends or steps right into Calm Ritual. Maybe it is the bi-polar side of the song that came before. I dunno. Interesting stuff.

So far this little band from Portland called Little Star is in my head. The songs are so wonderfully all over the place that (in total) the album makes your mind take it's own side trips. The songs push you in different directions and I like that. Sure Adele can sell 840,000 albums in two weeks (bless her heart) but that kind of music pretty much bores me. I will take Little Star or adventurous bands like them any day.
Robb Donker


  1. They have a new one coming out!

    1. I know and I will have some write up coming up on it soon.