Little Suns- Normal Human Feelings: Brightening the Winter Blahs

Little Suns- Normal Human Feelings
Divergent Recordings, 2013.

The Little Suns are a Montreal-based group with a debut album out through Divergent Records, and boy, it’s a doozy!  Their sound is informed by two of the members’ trip around Eastern Europe, and you can hear that influence come through loud and clear, but don’t be put off by any preconceptions of Eastern European music.  You really have to hear it to believe it, this is not an easily categorized album by any means.

Sunboat opens the album with swells and echoes of an orchestra, but quickly transitions into a jazzy, upbeat tune that sounds like it’s fronted by a reggae singer.  After that unique beginning, Overnite Flite has a pop-electronica tone at some points, but also melds funky melodies.  The winner of the longest track title of 2013 goes to Where Do People Go When They Go Away, which stands out not only for its name but also for its stunning piano work.  Black Elephant has possibly the best play of the album, in my opinion, with its mellow start leading to a rousing song overall; this song makes you want to get up and jump around a bit.  Coming down off of that high is Wake Up, which has resonating bass and deep rumbles of powerful music.  Antichrist has light piano paired with flowing vocals and strings, and Them Girls has an exotic tone that leads to a wonderfully pastoral scene.  Continuing the international flair, Child of the Night is a gem perfect for some belly-dancing.  Istanbul finishes off the album with spunky and relaxing beats for a perfect ending.

Personnel: John Aaron Cockburn (accordion, piano, vocals), Robin Meyer-MacLeod (clarinet), Daniel Grewal (bass), Matt Smith (bouzouki), Liam Smith (drums), Raphael Weinroth-Browne (strings,  cello) , Tamar Ilana (vocals), Evan Runge (violin), and Ross Davison (saxophone, uilleann pipes)

Tracks: Sunboat, Overnite Flite, Where Do People Go When They Go Away, Black Elephant, Wake Up, Antichrist, Them Girls, Child Of The Night, Istanbul

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