you two can spend a special time respect even such the tiny moment OR "Little My Goes to Thailand"
Little My’s first demo was blown out, loud, and terrific. There was a definite Guided By Voices thing going on which I approved of, heartily. From the moment I put ears on it, I was excited to hear what the band’s next release would have in store. What I didn’t expect was “you two can spend a special time respect even such the tiny moment OR ‘Little My Goes to Thailand’”. The quiet and understated album came as a surprise, and it’s been a pleasant one to say the least.
The album is largely an acoustic endeavor; there are sparse (and I mean sparse) contributions from bass player Zac Mayeux and drummer Nate Rubin, but mostly, guitarist/singer/songwriter Shayla Riggs is on display here. This album is a testament to restraint on the part of the other band members, they play in all the right places, and know exactly when to let the voice, the story, and the music carry themselves.
Shayla has a lovely voice which poked it’s head out from behind the fuzz of the demo. It’s sweet, and sad, and full of all the things that go great on mixtapes. It’s reminiscent of young Juliana Hatfield, and in particular the first Blake Babies release “Nicely, Nicely”.
Above all though, there’s a lyricism on this album that outshines most of what is happening in the area right now. The songs were written during (and after) a trip to Thailand to visit family. From the outside, this seems like an immensely transformative time for Shayla. She’s presented a very vulnerable point in her life on this release, and if I didn’t know that she wanted the world to hear these songs, it might feel almost invasive to listen to this level of personal growth and self realization.
It’s hard to write a song about love or sadness or longing or doubt while avoiding the platitudes that often come with the feelings. What is unique about the writing here is that the songs are simultaneously story driven and focused on singular emotions. Bridging this gap can be hard especially while avoiding much used cliches of pop songs, but these songs are nearly flawless in this regard. The songs are also short, which works toward giving each one power and making it memorable as a standalone piece.
“On Top Of, Not In” is a rumination on family and how, for better or worse, we all turn into our parents -- “I'm at the mercy of time and space. Mom says she doesn't like this place. They might move away to Spain, they're always looking out in vain for a home with the right touch of sun--I can see where I got that from.”
“thedifferencebetweenyouandme” is the highlight on the release. The song is raw as a fresh wound. It’s introspective like you rarely hear, and most certainly never while so deftly avoiding overused metaphors. The line that defines the album for me is, “I am boring. Nothing to mince words for; I am not an open door.”
Little My is a spectacularly talented band, and it seems likely that they’ve got more up their sleeves for the future. I, for one, have been floored by both of their releases so far, and look forward to whatever’s next for these infinitely cool seacoast dwellers. – Blake J. Seale Jr.