Review: Little You Little Me, “Hard to Tell, Not Knowing”

Little You Little Me

Saint John, New Brunswick’s Little You Little Me return with a strong collection of catchy alt-rock.

Blossomed and red ripe cotoneaster bushes flourish behind closed iron bars on the cover, providing a perfect visual metaphor for the tightly held emotions included in these songs.

Lou Reed once said that you can’t beat 2 guitars, bass and drums. For the most part, Little You Little Me seem to agree; there are some subtle synths here and there. Distortion on the guitar leads throughout the record remind me of great tunes by dinosaur Jr but, the vocals are more inspired and exhibit more effort than J Mascis tends to be known for.  Duo lead vocalists Corey Bonnevie and Gavin Downes split songwriting duties. The constantly switching voices helps keep the album moving and sounding fresh.

Their bio instructs you to “think Big Star covered by Ty Sygall” which is an appropriate description.  The songs are hard but not heavy. It’s quick tempo’d indie rock like Built to Spill or something from the Canadian East Coast Explosion of the 90’s.  The production and final mixing by Noah Mintz is fantastic and allows room for the dexterous rhythm section to excel.

I Can Try is the first standout track for me.  The vocals are more prominent in the mix and take charge of the song. The performance is great and the ferocity from Corey’s lungs are more than a match for the wailing guitars.

This takes us to my favorite track: Do Yourself a Favour. It’s my new obsession. I’ve listened to it 5 times in a row. Seriously, do yourself a favour and download this song now!  It’s a slacker anthem twenty years removed from the original movement.  A lollying guitar lick floats overtop of prodding bass and drums.  Again, I need to reiterate, these guitars sound fantastic! They’re melodic and aimed at the sky. You have to admire Little You Little Me’s skill to craft a tune. The lyrics are tender but not lacking bite… like a kiss on the cheek from an ex..  “Do yourself a favour and call yourself my friend”.

Traveled is the first single they’ve released from the album and my second favorite track. It has the heavy heart lyrics matching the beat of the music. I really love this tune.  It’s sincere, harmonic, showcasing yet another side to LMLY.  Later in the tune, the euphoric, eruptive guitars give me chills. I can’t wait to hear this live.

I don’t mean to give an impression that the album is purely a nostalgic affair, it isn’t. It’s brimming with emotion and artistry. But, they haven’t reinvented the wheel here.  Little You, Little Me have made a fantastic record with catchy songs. I’d rather spin records like this than spin my wheels.

Available on CD, vinyl, streaming and digitally here.

Be forewarned: Tracks 1,4,12,13 Have a swear word ????

 

Steve Murphy

A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.

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