Little Birds drops new single gHost

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Repurposed rhythms and terribly arranged bouts of string virtuosity have never cut it for critics nor more sophisticated fans of rock, R&B and pop, and in “gHost,” the latest cut from Little Bird’s recent studio sessions for the forthcoming LP Proxima, you won’t be able to find either no matter how closely you hunt for them. In their place, we find undying emotion in the instruments, a wistful wonderment in the lyrics, and a decadently dynamic mix that will impress even industry insiders with its erudite nature. Little Bird are playing in the big leagues now, and their latest single reflects that in every sonic stitch of its design.

The band sounds totally in their element and relaxed in this song, and I would even go as far as to say that they seem a lot less pressured here than they did in their last album Familiar. Familiar was a very experimental outing, and to a large extent, “gHost” is a continuation of the themes that were presented to us in that record. There’s an uncontrollable sway in the rhythm that staggers out of the drum track and into the bassline, but it doesn’t interfere with the delivery of the lyrics at all. The layers appear impossible to dig through on the surface, but wrap around us like a warm blanket once we get into the guts of the song.

Tonality is clearly of upmost importance to Little Bird, and that’s more than evident in “gHost.” I don’t know how much of it can be attributed to the excellent handiwork of Ryan Schwabe, who mastered this single, but in any case, this is among the most cleanly executed pieces of indie music that I’ve listened to this month. It’s got a cosmopolitan finish that makes it appealing to mainstream pop fans, but its acrylic definition makes it an even more attractive single to my fellow left-field R&B buffs.

URL: http://www.thisislittlebird.com/

I hear a lot of jam potential when I listen to “gHost,” and while I have yet to see Little Bird live in concert, I can see where this could become one of their most popular and heavily-requested songs to play on stage. Clocking in at just under six minutes total, “gHost” has the framework of an ambient track and the freewheeling foundation of a pop song, making it a really flexible composition that I could imagine the band transforming into a twenty minute, guitar-based freak out in the right setting. I know I’d love to see that for myself, and I doubt I’m the only listener or critic saying as much right now.

“gHost” is a potentially game-changing effort from Little Bird that has tremendous crossover appeal and highbrow style fit for consumption on either side of the dial, but to be quite frank, it’s along the lines of what I have come to expect out of everything that this band issues. Little Bird simply doesn’t play by the same rules that their less than scholarly contemporaries do, and for better or worse, they’re embarking on a musical adventure right now that is taking them into uncharted waters and putting their name in the headlines. This is an excitingly transitional time in pop, and this group is playing a major role in it both inside and outside of their scene.

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Michael Rand

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