Tag Archives: Son Little release

Son Little Releases New Single, The River

Modernest R&B auteur Son Little returns with a thrilling new track entitled, The River. The song delivers a magnificently seductive and ominous reconstruction of American blues infused with elements of hip-hop and raw guitar rock. Little (as Aaron Livingston) previously collaborated with The Roots and RJD2. Complex.com is currently premiering three separate versions of the song and video simultaneously. Each corresponding music video matching a particular version of the song. Check it out here: Complex.com .

The River demonstrates more than ever before the range and vision of this ambitious artist. DJ Mag recently described Son Little a “…hip-hop influenced soulman” who “…typifies the brilliant, modern-day soul revival and dovetails perfectly into the legacies of old and new soul troubadours like Sam Cooke, Aloe Blacc, Otis Redding, Bill Withers and Lee Fields.” Vibe also wrote that Little’s “…soulful vocals circle the drains of despair but offer the perfect self-medication for today’s sorrows.”

The video accompaniment for The River brims with tension, Little crooning out the song in a gritty bar amidst subtle hints of heartbreak, jealousy and potential violence.

The original version of the song infectiously recalls Lets Go Crazy era Prince, gritty blues/ gospel and bedroom indie pop in what may be his finest track yet. With his River Styx remix, he channels Band Of Gypsies Hendrix with a nod to hip-hop minimalism, the immensely funky Amazon River remix delivering pure early ‘70s Blaxploitation bliss complete with Curtis Mayfield strings and irresistible groove.

Expect more from Son Little in the coming months.

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Saintseneca’s Happy Alone Remixed By Son Little

It all started when Son Little released his debut single, Cross My Heart, on Anti-.  When label mates Saintseneca heard the track, they were so taken by it that they wanted to meet the young artist/producer. Son Little was invited to a Saintseneca show in his hometown of Philadelphia and a friendship was born.

Out of that friendship came the Son Little remix of Saintseneca’s song Happy Alone. The track, which NPR recently listed as one of the new songs they “…just can’t stop playing”, is a gentle indie-folk anthem.  In Son Little’s re-imagining, Zac Little’s plaintive vocal is wrapped up in gurgling synths, melancholy omnichord strums and dubbed-out drums. You can hear the remix now on Urb.com .

At the same time, both Saintseneca and Son Little launch national tours. For Saintseneca, coming off a welcome wagon of ecstatic press for their Anti- debut, Dark Arc, this will be their biggest headlining tour to date. Son Little, whose latest single, Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches, has just been lauded by GQ as one of this summer’s 25 most essential songs, will be opening a string of dates for R&B maverick Kelis as well as a handful of dates with Small Black, Lady, Streets Of Laredo and Nightmares on Wax.

You can catch Saintseneca and Son Little live on the following dates:

Saintseneca On Tour:
7  June         The Space, Hamden, CT
8  June         Great Scott , Allston, MA
9  June         Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT
10 June        Bug Jar, Rochester, NY
11 June         The Drake Hotel, Toronto, ON
12  June        The Blind Pig, Ann Arbor, MI
13 June         Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
14 June         The Cedar, Minneapolis, MN
15 June         Empty Bottle, Chicago,  IL
9  July           Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids,  MI
10 July          Space, Evanston, IL
11  July         Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights,OH
12  July         Square Roots Festival, Chicago IL
13  July         Bunbury Festival, Cincinnati,OH
15 July          The Firebird,St. Louis MO
16 July          Czar Bar, Kansas City, MO
17 July          The Opolis, Norman,OK
18 July          The Foundry, Dallas, TX
25 July          WUKY Radio Show – Phoenix Park, Lexington KY
31 Aug      Fashion Meets Music Festival, Columbus OH

Son Little On Tour:
9 June           Park West, Chicago, IL*
11 June         Danforth Music Hall, Toronto*
13 June         Webster Hall, New York, NY*
15 June         9:30 Club, Washington DC*
23 June        Johnny Brenda’s Philly, PA #
24 June       Great Scott, Allston, MA #
30 June       Subculture, NYC ^
10 July        Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY %
12 July        Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA ~
13 July        U Street Music Hall, DC ~

* Supporting Kelis
# Supporting Small Black
^ Supporting Lady
% Supporting Streets of Laredo
~ Supporting Nightmares on Wax

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Son Little Tours With Kelis

Son Little sees the world differently from the rest of us. As a child of hip-hop, Son Little – the neo-soul-blues-hip-hop persona of former Roots and RJD2 collaborator Aaron Livingston – takes on reality as a series of samples, genetic building blocks that connect in strange and miraculous ways. Hence the “neo-blues meets the ghost of Bob Marley trapped inside a tabla machine” tag Okayplayer gave his first single Cross My Heart or his own description of second single Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches as a “Wu-Tang sea shanty with the Beatles on background vocals.” This is no flip, off-the-cuff soundbite; Son Little borrowed pieces of lyrics from a traditional sea shanty and reset them inside the timeless work song groove of Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches, grafting the imagery of the lawless seas onto modern streets.

Lyrical cut-ups a la Burroughs and Bowie, musical cut-ups deeply ingrained in his hip-hop schooling, all emerge as a deep soul ache in the new school of the Weeknd and Miguel. Now, for the first time, Son Little takes his music to the streets in his first national tour dates, seven of them in support of R&B maverick Kelis. Little is already commanding attention in the press and blog world, on the strength of just the two aforementioned single releases in 2014. For an America whose cultural bloodlines trail Son Little like the hellhound of the old blues songs, this tour will be a first chance to see an artist who is already one of the breakout stories of the year.

You can catch Son Little live on the following dates:
2 June      Filmore San Francisco, CA*
3 June      House of Blues, San Diego, CA*
4 June      El Rey, Los Angeles, CA*
9 June      Park West, Chicago, IL*
11 June    Danforth Music Hall, Toronto*
13 June    Webster Hall, New York, NY*
15 June    9:30 Club, Washington DC*
23 June    Johnny Brenda’s Philly, PA #
24 June    Great Scott, Allston, MA #
30 June    Subculture, NYC ^
10 July    Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY %
12 July    Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA ~
13 July    U Street Music Hall, DC ~

* Supporting Kelis
# Supporting Small Black
^ Supporting Lady
% Supporting Streets of Laredo
~ Supporting Nightmares on Wax

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Vibe Premieres New Video For Son Little

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.”

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Introducing…Son Little

Son Little is Aaron Livingston who first came to light by other names singing with The Roots and collaborating with Rjd2.

Cross My Heart, the debut track from Son Little, is a box of bonbons filled with barbed wire. Over a deceptively slinky groove with shades of 70’s Marvin Gaye and Leon Ware, Livingston croons the phrases “Sex and candy…”, “Gonna get me some”. On first listen, this song sounds like a lover’s plea but the angular blues guitar lick over the top of the track is clue to a deeper, older invocation. Cross My Heart’s lyrics bear witness to two departed friends and, inspired by Trayvon Martin, offer a meditation on the ease with which black lives are erased even now decades beyond the years when that smoky guitar line was invented. Son Little’s voice soars like a young Stevie Wonder’s as he testifies to his loss and the “Cross my heart” tag line reveals itself not as a lover’s plea but a defiant prayer to remember the lost.

The track is accompanied by an atmospheric black and white video that evokes the smoky milieus of Lester Young and Billie Holiday, reinforcing the themes of the song in its references to lost greats.

Cross My Heart premiered last week courtesy of Okayplayer. Cross My Heart is available on iTunes as well as featuring on the Anti- Black Friday LP release, Hot Whacks, a collection of upcoming and unreleased tracks from the label which is out November 30.

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