INNOVATIVE AND ANGULAR PDX POST-EMO TRIO RELEASE THEIR NEW GOOD CHEER RECORDS EP, 'EVEN IN DREAMS'
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The concept of change is a key factor in the development of many bands, but in Little Star it's practically doctrine.
Starting as a lo-fi bedroom recording project for Eidolons guitarist Daniel Byers, it was a way to document and meditate on a series of ever-evolving personal relationships. Working alone with a drum machine, Byers threw on the Internet two full albums' worth of fuzzy odes to forgone friendships and lost loves almost as afterthought, before sharing them with Julian Morris of Shiner—another guy in a band who liked to moonlight with a more personal solo project—and later John Value, a local jazz drummer.
Now comes Little Star's third LP, Being Close, its first full-band effort, featuring songs by both Byers and Morris. The communal authorship has deepened the thematic elements.
"A lot of my songs are about moving apart from people and the emotional spectrum that covers," Byers says, "and Julian's are more about an inward kind of change."
The newer, full-band songs are a major step forward. Tracks like "For Goth Easter" began as dusty four-track demos and blossomed under the polish of producer Mac Pogue, who recorded the album at Type Foundry Studio. It's a shift reminiscent of when Elliott Smith signed with DreamWorks and used the studio to upgrade his primarily homegrown sound into a Beatles-esque cacophony.
There's still enough scruff and fuzz to recognize dudes who wear their debt to Alex Chilton in their band name, but they certainly clean up nicely. Morris' emotive, soulful croon at times evokes Jeff Buckley, and makes a perfect counter to Byers' tumbling elegies. And with Morris currently in the process of gender transition, the lyrical themes of change and evolution are now even more complex. According to Byers, one song, written by Morris, is about his voice changing due to hormones, and its impact on the band's music.
With such a deep well of emotional subject matter, it's no wonder several new songs are already fully fleshed out, and that the band is already thinking about its next record.
"We're working quickly," Byers says. "Different songs [are] on the docket all the time. We're still just working together and trying to come into ourselves. We all really care about each other. We're good at telling each other what we need." - Chris Lankenau, Willamette Week.
Wave Action is the O'Brien twins with their favorite Jon Huteson. Born in sheds gleaming from life's vicissitudes. Rock and roll, go surfing, peace and love.
Glam Punk band from Portland, Oregon