Son Little is a daring man who you may already be well familiar with but his latest venture Aloha is a ground-breaking strike to the heart of music as he teaches both himself and the rest of the world the simple art of letting go.
Son Little has gone from self-producing his work to finally allowing someone else to take the wheel and despite playing almost every one of the instruments heard on the album himself, he has still relinquished almost all control to the hands of someone else. To top it off, this musical project spanned only 8 days in which this entire album was written and recorded in Paris. Listening to Aloha though, with its polished and evocative melodies you would feel as though it has been in rumination and contemplation for decades. His songs are ageless, almost undeterminable in style and influence as they carefully blend together modernity and vintage constructs in equal measures so as to bring to life a new style of sound.
Despite these lauded tracks, Son Little actually treats us to a fairly stark and minimalistic backdrop when it comes to music. His songs are sparse; peppered with gentle gospel-style organs, hard drum beats and soft jazz guitar. Despite this scattered sound there is so much more going on within his music than can be accurately described. There is soul in his music, and not just the genre, but it’s blended with jazz, indie, folk and even R&B. It’s a heady blend for anyone, but to be produced within such tight constrains and within such a short period of time, it’s absolutely mesmerising to hear. Not afraid to experiment, Son Little has stepped cleanly out of his comfort zone to record his latest masterpiece and it’s an effort that has paid off. His rasped and earnest vocals open up his work like a flower on bloom. His raw passion and energy is what gives his music the real edge as you are absorbed by his thoughts, feelings and sentimentality.
Aloha is a stunning and tender album that can play your heart as easily as a bass and with the tender and evocative manner in which it has been produced it feels like an album that can sway the very trees around you. Warm, loving and powerful, it is a stunning creation that belies not only the timeframe in which it was produced but also the years of its artist. To produce something of this calibre, it would normally be the result of decades of work.
Review by Joe Knipe