A hometown crowd packed World Cafe Live late this morning for a hometown hero of sorts. Son Little, the project of singer and guitarist Aaron Livingston, is a local favorite for Philly audiences, and the artist himself seemed right at home during today’s Free at Noon. After opening the set with a few new songs from his forthcoming album New Magic, Son Little welcomed the crowd, which had lined up outside well before doors opened and flocked closer and closer to the stage as the show went on, clapping and dancing along. Continue reading →
When Son Little sings “I got the blue magic / And I rock you so savage” on his upcoming New Magic album, there’s a grit and a swaggering gamesmanship to his voice that wasn’t apparent in past such as 2014s Things I Forgot EP and his eponymously-titled 2015 album. That strut may not even have been there when Aaron Livingston (Little’s birth name) recorded with The Roots or with RJD2 as Icebird.
Did the multi-hyphenate neo-bluesman and seemingly professional lodger (LA to NYC to Philly to somewhere in New Jersey) get that ‘”oomph” producing an EP for legendary gospel goddess Mavis Staples (Your Good Fortune)? Or writing for electro-R&B saxophonist / DJ GRiZ? Does his newfound love (or display of affection) for baseball have anything to do with this soulful gloat as he’s taken to singing the “Star Spangled Banner” before National League games?
Before Livingston heads into a busy autumn — beginning at this week’s Afropunk festival in Brooklyn, extending to the September 15th New Magic release and a two-night stand at Boot and Saddle at the month’s end — we caught up with him via phone so he could address some of these burning questions. Continue reading →
Earlier this week, Philly’s Son Little released a new track called “Demon to the Dark,” and it’s an honest, ambient plea that cuts straight to the heart.
Moving, repentant lyrics call on a “Deacon Phillips” for help and forgiveness, who in a statement with NPR, is identified as the Gospel singer, and Little’s idol, Washington Phillips. With broken yet hopeful lines such as “Can I somehow be put together / sometime today ’cause life is short,” the song feels like you’re listening in on an intimate conversation or a prayer behind closed doors. Continue reading →
The hype was very real when Portugal. The Man made their return after four long years without an album. Lead single “Feel It Still” has been crushing the alternative charts, and we learned why during a Free At Noon a few months back. But another single off the band’s brand new Woodstock has a familiar voice on it. Just a few seconds into track one, aptly titled “Number One,” you’ll hear Philly’s soulful Son Little. Continue reading →
A few weeks after sharing news of his forthcoming sophomore LP New Magic, Son Little has announced a North American tour that stops in Philly for a two-night hometown run at Boot & Saddle on September 29th and 30th. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 23rd and will be available on the XPN Concert Calendar.
Son Little is back with a new record, following up 2015’s breakthrough debut with a collection of songs written in Australia’s remote Northern Territory. New Magic is scheduled for a September 15th release via ANTI- and the Philly musician is streaming lead single “Blue Magic (Waikiki)” now.
Philly rocker Son Little has been taking things quiet since wrapping up his early summer run with Leon Bridges (and playing a handful of festivals around the country). But if that gives him time and space to get another album out into the world, all the better.
In the meantime, he shared this cover of “State Trooper” from Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. The original is harrowing and howling, with the tone reportedly inspired by the Boss’ love of NYC experimental synthpoppers Suicide. Son Little keeps it minimal, but takes it out of that acoustic zone, adding back some of those electronic textures he’s so good at. It’s his own nervy interpretation of a desperate man on the lam and his fear of encountering the authorities…something that, given recent (and not-so-recent) events, takes on an added layer of poignancy. Continue reading →
Those who have seen Son Little perform in person are probably familiar with his latest track, “All Wet.” The Philly musician says he plays the song often, but this newly released studio version differs from what’s played live. In this stand-alone single, Son Little is said to combine blues, folk and psychedelia, but It’s hard to really peg what this song could be definitively labeled as. However, it’s equally tough to get this chorus out of your head. It’s a catchy one. Continue reading →
Philly soulman Son Little (aka Aaron Livingston) has just shared the video for “Toes”, the most recent single from his self-titled debut record, via Pitchfork.
Livingston has been up to some big things recently, from going on tour with Leon Bridges (they brought down The Fillmore last month), to collaborating with RJD2 again on his new record, Dame Fortune. His wide range of influences create a unique version of soul-inflected blues rock, especially on songs such as “O Mother” and the aforementioned “Toes.” Continue reading →
The Fillmore was packed like sardines for Leon Bridges’ first local show since his knockout Grammy performance last week. Philly’s own Son Little kicked off the night in style with a full band and a kicking 40 minute set. It was a great R&B taster and he certainly held his own with the force of spirit that is Leon Bridges.