Roll down the convertible top and don your aviators as you feel the cool breeze whip through your hair. With the pedal to the floor, you let the anthems of summertime whisk you away to the landscape of Brian Wilson’s dreams. L.A.’s The Little Ones will be your guide as you groove to the Californian indulgence of their aptly titled Sing Song EP.
If the cover art doesn’t immediately remind you of The Shins’ Chutes Too Narrow (both were designed by artist Jesse LeDoux), then the opening seconds of “Let Them Ring The Bells” should certainly, uh, “rings some bells” as it recalls the real stars of Garden State. With no shortage of “whoas” and sunny harmonies over bright guitar chords, this opening track is like a day on the boardwalk packed into 2 minutes and 37 seconds. Did I fail to mention the xylophone?
Quirky keyboard distortion quickly sets the tone to “Cha Cha Cha” and by the time lead singer Lee LaDouceur’s vocals hit, they remind one of a clearer version of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s frontman Alec Ounsworth and his unmistakable whine. A chorus of “la la las” is never far behind as the song leaps into proper pop form. “Oh MJ!” employs a foot stomping drum beat and bouncing guitars amid a tambourine shuffle and LaDouceur’s California musing. Handclaps and shakers prove the perfect complement to sublimely executed guitar riffs on “High on A Hill.”
After a few spins of Sing Song with the top down and the stereo blasting, it’s nearly impossible to not sing along. In the course of six songs and less than a half hour, Sing Song has more claps than a State of The Union address and enough harmonies to lose track of who’s vocals are leading. It bubbles over with the type of indie exuberance that has The O.C. written all over it. Which, depending on the music circles you belong to, can be a blessing or a curse. (In the case of The Little Ones, it would most certainly be the former). And I’m sure if they haven’t paid Seth Cohen a visit yet, then it’s only a matter of time. After all, they’re practically neighbors.
The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
Rooney – Rooney
Crystal Skulls – Blocked Numbers