The Little Ones

A sun-soaked slice of West Coast Californian pop

Size matters… or so the saying goes. Not that this is anything to put LA band The Little Ones off their beer, as they crowd round the empty bar of The Scala, foraging for cigarettes and remarking on the London blizzards outside.

It’s a long way from the sun-kissed climbs of California as drummer Greg Meyer reclines on the leather black sofa, whilst the rest of the group discuss the most effective ways to keep warm. After it is decided that the key to the arctic British weather is alcohol, and plenty of it, all five members settle down as The Boy Least Likely To carry out their soundchecks next door.

“We’ve seen a lot of Travelodges,” Greg artificially enthuses, “beautiful, beautiful Travelodges…”

Later on that evening, The Little Ones are due on stage in a final London support slot that has seen them hot-footing it round England for their first UK tour. “We’ve seen a lot of Travelodges,” Greg artificially enthuses, “beautiful, beautiful Travelodges…” to which keyboardist Lee chimes in, “countryside and sheep.” As if to clear up the abstract musings of his fellow band members, “there aren’t many cows in LA…” Greg adds.

For singer Ed Reyes, the childhood dream has already been realised in 2007. “To tell you the truth,” he quietly explains, “coming to the UK has always been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid. Listening to The Beatles, I fantasised about all these things, and I always thought that this was the place to be and play. I thought that was the place for you to go and become a musician. I’ve fulfilled my dream right here. I could die…”

It certainly is a far-fetched plane-ride away from their humble beginnings in Los Angeles, as high school friends and family connections brought Ed, Ian, Lee, Brian and Greg into a collective that found them writing music together. The hobby became a full-time undertaking fairly early on. “Pretty much the same day,” Greg jokes as Lee muses, “At some point you’ve just got to choose your path and really take a chance.” The chance paid off last month when the band released their ‘Sing Song EP’ on Heavenly Recordings.

The record is a sun-soaked slice of West Coast Californian pop. With Beach Boys inspired vocal harmonies, and jingling percussion, opening track ‘Let Them Ring The Bells’ introduces us to the pastel-coloured world of The Little Ones, whereas ‘Lovers Who Uncover’ gives a decidedly Magic Numbers feel with rhythmic and punch beats which always give way to soft-edged melodies.

Stand out track is ‘High On A Hill’ as catchy vocals and apt hand claps pepper the flora and fauna. Much is owed here to the increase in appetite for gentle unobtrusive song-making: and The Little Ones share much in common with the increasing popularity of bands like Tiny Dancers and Liam Frost. When asked what sets five Americans aside from the rest, the response is simple. “We love each other,” Ed jokes.

Joking aside, the band’s love of what they do shines through on all levels, proving that the smallest steps made by The Little Ones in the UK may not make them quite so little anymore…

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