Littl'ans/Wounded Ears
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When I heard Littl'ans were playing this years SXSW, I was pretty damn excited. I've been listening to the many projects of Andrew Aveling for some time now. White Sport - great! Solo Littl'ans "demos" - amazing! Their Way 7" - sublime! Primitive World (debut Littl'ans album) - just beyond! So the prospect of seeing them live was extremely exciting.

They had the early slow, starting at 8pm, and this was actually the only event they played during the entirety of SXSW. The Rio is an odd little venue because it's actually a restaurant and the stage area was like, a roped off area of the dining room with a minuscule little stage. At the start of the set, the carpet/dance floor was fairly empty. However, by the end of the set a good little crowd had formed, obviously they had overhead Littl'ans tender songs and been compelled to come watch.

Another thing you need to know about the Rio is, they have very strong margaritas. This is why my memory of the exact setlist may be fuzzy. It's either that, or I'm writing this 3 weeks late and took practically 0 notes.

Most involved with the post-Libertines scene in London have heard of Littl'ans if for no other reason than their sublime single "Their Way" which featured/was stolen by Pete Doherty. They also supported Babyshambles on some tours where, supposedly, some police activity and silliness occurred. But since then, they've kept themselves on the down-low, recording their low-key debut, "Primitive World" in New York in 2007.

Primitive World has been and continues to be one of my favourite albums of recent years. It's one of those albums that is very good when you first listen to it and keeps getting stronger each after each and every listen. On the surface you have a very tender album, filled with love songs for any occasion - even occasions with no love connection whatsoever. However, I've found that the emotions on this album run the gamut from lust to loneliness, to nostalgia, to friendship and back.

Musically, they're tight. There's not an ounce of fat or excess on the record and that transfers to the live show, as well. Each song is to the point, succinct, and edited to perfection. Not a song on the album hits over 5 minutes, and only two hit over 4 minutes.

Lyrically, I think Andrew Aveling is one of the most clever wordsmiths in a long time. Not since I first discovered the Smiths (um, a long time) have phrases gotten stuck in my head for so long, nor have I called any lyricist brilliant the way I would Aveling. Not only is he insightful but he is clever

Now, Aveling's voice is something I don't want to go into too much depth on just because I think it's so amazing and could go on forever. His voice is really what ties the record together. There's obviously some great guitar work on the album and the rhythm section keep the songs tight, moving like machines, but Aveling's voice is what really sets them apart. It's such a distinctive voice, and what's really special is how many things he's able to convey with his voice. In the same song (one of my favourites) "Don't Call It Love", which by the way might be one of the greatest one night stand songs of all time, he's able to sound needy, callous and caring. In "Everytime" he's able to convey tenderness, and loneliness, with one of my favourite set of lines on the whole album, "And I asked her if she was lonely / and she replied, "Yeah I am a lonely girl / but somebody might suddenly just find that I am worth it all". Amazing. His voice and his lyrical ability are what really set Littl'ans apart from the rest of the East London bands.

I think I've inadvertently reviewed their album when I was meant to write about their show at SXSW. But everything I've mentioned up to this point has gone into the live show and made it one of the best, if not the best, that I was privy to at this years SXSW. I only wish they had played more shows because I'm convinced this album is amazing and their live show was really wonderful as well. Basically, I think the songs are really special and I think they come across really well live and this band definitely have a bright, bright future. They are coming out with a second album this year, that I've been told is totally different but totally brilliant which is something I, of course, really believe.

Words & photos by Brianna Saraceno
- Spin Magazine


Yes, it is time for another AEC Monthly Missive. There are some very exciting things coming up in the next few weeks- March 2009 is bring some great things from across the pond, so let's get down to business.

We'll first pick up where we left off last month. Since SXSW is days away, we want to make sure you get the rest of the low-down of all of UK bands that will be deep in the heart of Texas. So here's the second half of the list of our UK picks from the line-up (L-Z for those playing at home).

Littl'ans
Chart success and Dior fame you can be forgiven for being gagged by the hype. But give the tunes a chance you can't help but groove to the post-mod jangle. Their album wont be out till summer, so check them out before everyone else tells you about them in September. - The Tripwire


Discography

L.P. Primitive World Releasd US, UK ans Japan 2009
Goto Spotify or Itunes UK to listen.
To hear new E.P. by Wounded Ears, Goto:
www.myspace.com/woundedears

Photos

Bio

Wounded Ears has been born out of city parks and early mornings. Influenced for better or worse by the bad and the good of US/UK 20th century musical delinquents. Our story is in our lyrics and easily recognisable. We have been together for four years and in that time played in many countries and had our own tours. We are into invention and bedrooms. To hear all our music go to www.myspace.com/woundedears and hear for yourself. For imagery goto www.myspace.com/littlans and see an earlier history of our humble beginnings.