Through the misty melodies that adorn the intro to “gHost,” the new single from the incomparable Little Bird, a subtly bittersweet vocal finds its way to the forefront of the fog and captivates us with its lyrical luster. “I don’t know what’s older than the soul of the earth / I met a ghost, we spoke by the edge of the ocean / ‘For some time we’ve been, killing time…’ He said,” the voice tells us in an exquisitely harmonious lashing of poetry beneath the layers of atonal fuzz. Despite the lofty construction of “gHost,” the narrative that Little Bird is trying to impart to us here never gets lost in translation; it only becomes more accessible and relatable as we wade through the ocean of grooves the band has arranged for us in its latest release.
Magnetizing tonality proliferates the string play in the song, and a psychedelic complexion emphasized by the master mix adds a moodiness to the melodies that really defines the jarring rigidity of the rhythm. Outside of the jazz-inspired drumming, everything in “gHost” flows as naturally as whitewater rapids do, and occasionally challenges such vicious waters in terms of sheer sonic command and vitality. Little Bird are playing to their strengths in this single, but they’re also getting outside of their comfort zone and trying some rebelliously avant-garde compositional techniques that exploit their musical profile for everything that it’s worth. “gHost” is as much a slowed down R&B anthem as it is an exercise in indie pop eccentricities, and that’s not a combination that you come across every day.
This track sports a top notch production quality, and through the profound engineering work of Jeff Lucci, there are plenty of moments in this song that sound more like a live performance than they ever do a studio recording. It’s an efficient mix for sure, but none of the unassumingly emotional intricacies in the grooves and the harmonies that chase after them are toned down in an effort to showcase the band’s streamlined approach to the tempo. It’s as full of complexities and dexterous swing rhythm as it is rich with a tender vocal hook, and it’s possibly the most complete single that I’ve heard from Little Bird yet.
If you’ve been searching for a slick melody-centered R&B space jam to fill out your spring playlist and add a bit of experimentalism to your daily soundtrack, you don’t need to look any further than Little Bird’s “gHost.” The lyrics will keep you on the edge of your seat trying to decipher their deeper meaning, and the provocative stylization of the instruments will make even the most discriminating of audiophiles weak at the knees. Indie rock fans won’t be repelled by this song’s urban swagger, nor will pop fanatics find the hooks to be lacking in substance; in actuality, I think that this track has the potential to get a lot of new listeners interested in the Little Bird moniker, and furthermore, all of the incredibly touching music that it has produced for us thus far.
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