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The Little Ones - Morning Tide

The Little Ones, Morning Tide

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

MORNING Tide, the debut album from LA sunshine heroes The Little Ones, is a masterful little gem packed with shimmering feel-good hits.

If they had a mission statement, it would probably be to write songs that celebrate life, rather than angst and suffering. And that’s an impressive achievement given the difficult history of the band, which saw them dropped by former label Astralwerks just when they seem poised to break big (a mini-album Sing Song had already captured a lot of hearts and minds).

Having bided their time and regrouped, they appear to have come back even more defiantly determined to stick two fingers up to the doubters. And they deserve to as Morning Tide could be one of the feel-good hits of the summer; not saccharine and unrelentingly optimistic in the way that The Feeling and now Melee are, but rather joyous, beautiful and well-meaning.

The chiming melodies, ethereal-tinged vocals and unassuming lyrics speak for themselves; they not manipulative. When Edward Nolan Reyes talks of “just floating away” on a track like Waltz, you tend to want to take the journey with him.

Reyes, in particular, ensures that The Little Ones have a keen sense of their own identity. His voice will probably draw comparisons with the likes of The Magic Numbers and The Flaming Lips, but his not-quite-but-almost-falsetto style certainly gives the songs their own distinct sound.

Musically, they’re capable of appealing to anyone who’s been charmed by The Beach Boys, or who seek their musical kicks in the blissful music of bands like Nada Surf, Death Cab For Cutie or The Shins. And yes, they’re as good as any of those bands.

The album opens with title track and former single Morning Tide and immediately grabs your attention – the “do, do, do” opening and waltzing synths managing to combine shimmering indie-pop (a la Delays) with that Shins-like ability to generally enthrall.

Ordinary Song proves the opener was no mistake – and is anything but ordinary. A crowdpleaser that proclaims “I’d love to sing along with you”, as if to offer a rallying call to anyone listening in. By the time the “who oh”-ing begins, you’ll probably be taking Reyes’ advice and stretching those vocal chords.

The sweet guitar riffs continue unabated on the joyously melodic Boracay (a firm highlight), All Your Modern Boxes, which benefits from some tricky layering, and the slightly retro-leaning Tangerine Visions, which demonstrates their musical diversity.

But there’s not really a dud track on the LP. Everybody’s Up To Something dips into psychedelic territory, Waltz is an innocent charmer and Like A Spoke On A Wheel balances guitars and keyboards to effortlessly satisfying effect (complete with an imagination overload in the lyrics).

The best is arguably saved for last, though, in the form of the impossibly beautiful Farm Song – a mini masterpiece that slowly, intricately weaves its way into your heart and soul to ensure that The Little Ones have grown in stature to, quite probably, become your new favourite band. Don’t miss out!

Download picks: Morning Tide, Ordinary Song, Boracay, Tangerine Visions, Everybody’s Up To Something, Waltz, Farm Song.

Track listing:

  1. Tangerine Visions
  2. Morning Tide
  3. Gregory’s Chant
  4. Ordinary Song
  5. Rise And Shine
  6. Waiting For A Sign
  7. Everybody’s Up To Something
  8. Waltz
  9. All Your Modern Boxes
  10. Like A Spoke On A Wheel
  11. Farm Song

  1. little ones are shite

    jonesy tillert    Jul 29    #