Son Little came out of the shadows blazing with his debut Cross My Heart which Okayplayer praised as “…neo-blues meets the ghost of Bob Marley trapped inside a tabla machine, with a new found grown-man wisdom.” Now Vibe presents the follow up single, Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches, continuing Little’s affair with slinky backbeats and impassioned, testifying vocals.
But the new track, which Little described as “Wu-Tang sea shanty with the Beatles on background vocals,” starts from a different place, an old pirate song stuck in Little’s head. An acapella intro invoking musics older categories then a snare like a gunshot and the beat slinks in underneath Little’s soulful croon. The words oblique, incantatory, images of a slave past (“cages” and “runaways”) offered as metaphors for emotional bondage the way the old singers used to talk about being on the chain gang. A track out of time, a song built on a chant, or, to give Little the last word, “a song that sang itself into existence.”