“Yellin’ at the loser in the mirror / Sayin’ dude don’t take it personal / It’s gonna be another weird month I guess / According to my horoscope” croons Colin Dieden, also known as Little Hurt, in his new single “Alaska,” his verse warming us up to the opening bars of the song swiftly. In his words and in the melody behind them, we find a whole lot of swing just waiting for us to join in with, and if you’ve got the kind of taste for pop charisma that I do, the temptation will prove far too powerful to resist.
As much as I like the lyrics to this latest release from Little Hurt, the actual delivery is what gives the narrative in this track the emotionality that separates amateur songwriting from professional-quality pop music. Though I would stop short of saying that Dieden is specifically trying to flex his melodic muscle in this single above all else, there’s definitely something to be said about his passionate execution, and moreover, how much it benefits the song on both ends. Artistically speaking, you can tell he’s in this even without having to dig through the critical details.
I really love the juxtaposition of the strings and the drums in the master mix here, and not only because of the way that this combination winds up framing the lyrical content. The guitar parts are white-hot while the beat is almost always ice-cold in “Alaska,” allowing for the serenade in the center to serve as a sonic linchpin and as an additional avenue through which Little Hurt can make his point clear to us. He’s a methodical composer, and if that wasn’t obvious in listening to any of his work released prior to now, it certainly should be following this latest addition to his discography.
The music video for “Alaska” flirts with DIY simplicity but ultimately feels as poppy as the hook in its soundtrack does – but in the best way possible. Instead of translating as saccharine, which is a typical problem when it comes to constructing this type of pop music, the melody here is palatable and familiar enough to where people of different tastes could absolutely get into it. Little Hurt is an emerging face on the solo end of the pop/rock world, but with these skills being at the forefront of his first four singles, it’s difficult to see him remaining an underground force for very long; the mainstream is his destination.
I didn’t know much about Little Hurt beyond Colin Dieden’s bio prior to hearing “Alaska” just recently, but collectively I think it’s one of his more mature pieces of material he’s produced since getting into this next chapter of his career. There are a lot of different ways to go about starting a solo venture, but for what he’s trying to accomplish – and more importantly, the audience he’s looking to satisfy – this is about as strong a launch as he could have asked for.
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