Monday, 27 May 2013
With iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and every increasing advancement in music posting and sharing we've perhaps forgotten the best way of sharing music; word of mouth. I first heard of Little Kid through a friend and I knew from his enthusiasm that it was definitely worth a listen. You just can't get that sort of recommendation from a website I'm afraid. His most recent album at that time, 'Logic Songs', was a collection of lo-fi, almost folk but almost not offerings that were complete with backing tracks of soundscapes of trains and only available to buy on cassette. To be honest, it was brilliant.
'River of Blood', the new ten song offering from Little Kid is a little different however. Firstly, the soundscapes have gone, the lo-fi sound of 'Logic Songs' has been replaced by a more professional recording. While 'Logic Songs' had that raw feel of a guy writing songs on a guitar and recording them in his bedroom, 'River of Blood' is a step up and sonically there is a tighter, more direct band feel to the record.
This has created a musical and lyrical maturity like on tracks like 'Apostles' where a baroque style guitar is proceeded by beautiful touches of xylophone and a wonderfully delicate lead guitar melody that previously are little ideas that I don't think Little Kid would have explored. It also contains one of the many downbeat lines seemingly inspired by a loss of love and battle with religion that are dotted around the album; 'I swear I'll always see you leaving when I close my eyes'.
'Damascus' has this deep organic piano sound with the sort of pitch and church reverb that pianists would all probably dream of. It also has a raw guitar line that matches the piano melody perfectly for the bridge, not overpowering it but more showing just how far production wise Little Kid has improved over the space of two albums.
'Slow Train' perhaps the heaviest song on the album, begins almost in a rock or grunge way with rip roaringly disgusting disorted guitar over a steady drumbeat and has the quiet verse-loud chorus composition that worked so brilliantly well for bands like Nirvana. It lends itself well to Little Kid too, allowing reflective religiously inspired lyrics; 'some days I pray to jesus, some days I don't pray for shit, no I fumble at the pieces, some days they almost seem to fit'.
The final track, 'In Church' is a slow downbeat love story that perfectly ends one of my favourite albums of this year, and for a year that has seen releases from the likes of James Blake, Foals, Frightened Rabbit, Daughter and Keaton Henson (just to name a few), I think that is saying a lot. 'River of Blood' ends with the line; 'I'll only love you 'til it hurts.'. I think it's only fair to Little Kid that we buy this album and love it beyond that.
4.5 / 5