Little Stranger – Sing It High

Little Stranger – Sing It High


“Sing It High”, the first single from Little Stranger’s upcoming EP Styles & Dynamics, carries on in the gripping tradition the Charleston, South Carolina duo has established since they first came to notice. The mix of acoustic instrumentation with the duo’s intense vocal and percussion rhythms comes together in a profoundly individualistic way that draws comparison to various earlier acts, but those comparisons fall apart after a certain point. Little Stranger emerges from “Sing It High”, as they do on their earlier material, with an unique point of view both lyrically and musically shared by none of their musical contemporaries or predecessors. This single is a fine standalone musical work but, as a first taste from their upcoming EP, it definitely promises that release will be the biggest yet for Little Stranger and has a level of creativity their peers simply do not often reach.


It’s impossible to not like this song unless you’re just dead set against the musical styles they embrace but, even then, you can’t quite pin Little Stranger down. There’s no question that the hip hop influence in the duo’s work is extremely strong, but they adopt some of the trappings of rock music without even fully committing themselves to that avenue. The careful blending of these disparate sounds comes together better in “Sing It High” than you hear in nearly genre synthesis and it testifies to the clarity of Little Stranger’s musical vision. This is a duo who know exactly what they want from a song before committing it to a recording and it results in material capable of winning listeners over with a single pass and revealing more with additional hearings. If we can consider this single as representative of the quality awaiting fans and newcomers alike on the duo’s forthcoming EP Styles & Dynamics, then both camps can rest easy knowing that Little Stranger continue to reaffirm the strengths that have brought them to the dance while entrancing newcomers with their skill and musical magic.

You can lay responsibility for much of this magic at the feet of the vocal presentation. There’s a fair amount of technique and finesse that goes into making this work, but the personality and skill that come together are ultimately more determinative of the song’s overall success. The lyrics, divorced from the music, would undoubtedly not make much of an impact, but the vocals do a tremendous job of elevating them to an urgent message for listeners to devour. It has an uniquely rhythmic component, as well, clearly built to complement the musical arrangement, but the two elements are never cut so close together to drain the audience’s interest in following along. “Sing It High” comes across like a very natural performance while still being framed in a modern way and Little Stranger’s EP Styles & Dynamics will gain much from its inclusion. There’s little doubt that even tastier musical confections await listeners with the EP’s release.


Michael Rand

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