Calling fans of Animal Collective, The Beach Boys, Phoenix, Bruce Springstein: Australian native Little Red recently dropped its new album, Midnight Remember. After releasing its introductory album Listen To Little Red in the United States in 2009, the ’50s-inspired rockers are back with some downright captivating tunes, making the album a must buy for music lovers of all ages and tastes.
Little Red kicks off Midnight Remember with “Get a Life,” an experimental love child of Animal Collective and The Beach Boys. The new wave elements found on this track, mixed with The Beach Boys’ inspired harmonies, are recipes for an exciting sound. It’s the perfect choice for an opener: It’s a familiar yet intriguing sound that leaves you wondering how the album will continue.
“Slow Motion” beautifully complements the opener by immediately drawing you in with transfixing production. The echoing, breathy vocals are intriguing and the piano sounds like something Sara Bareilles could have churned out over a glorious new wave The Beach Boys beat. The pop-meets-atmospheric sounds are captivating and immersive. “Slow Motion” sounds like everyone and no one at the same time.
Though the band takes its experimental sound seriously, it also knows how to craft catchy pop tunes. “Rock It,” the lead single that has already taken over the air waves down under, is an ’80s dancehall jam with catchy lyrics and vocal production that you can’t help but sing along to. “Rock It” is a summer song at heart, but it still keeps you listening and wanting more as the band sings Rock it till the break of day / don’t stop rocking now, no way / everybody feels the same / this is why we play these games.
What would a California record be without classic west coast tunes like “Rock It” and “Little Bit of Something?” With surfer vibes from the get-go, these songs sound classic but new. It’s evident Little Red is getting radio-friendly with its rocking harmonies as well as its chill and comforting beach vibes. Get ready, PCH.
But Midnight Remember isn’t all effervescent pop. The band offers a nice change of pace from the beach jams with “All Mine,” “In My Bed” and “I Can’t Wait.” “Mine” slowly reels you in with unfamiliar vocal arrangements: broken up syllables, less production, echoing guitars built up to a climactic crescendo through the use of gnarly vocals.
Conversely, “In My Bed” begins with a startling opening and messy production. That being said, the alternative mariachi sound is chaotically beautiful.
“I Can’t Wait” focuses more on experimentation and it does so from the start. The track has an aesthetically arresting trance-like feeling.
Despite these varying styles, Little Red maintains cohesion toward the end of the album. “February” carries more of a relaxing tone through the simplicity of the instrumentation with a touch of whirring cymbals in the background that builds a solid base for harmonies on a song about the seasons — It’s summer now / but not for long.
The album beautifully revisits the opening tracks with “Chelsworth” which serves as a slowed down “Rock It” that intrigues listeners by reworking the production of one of the band’s own tunes on the same record. The opening is simply stunning, particularly with its experimental use of the harmonica. This is one of the stand-out tracks on the album.
The album closes out with “Follow You There,” harboring a Temper Trap meets Coldplay feel that is pretty and simple, enabling the remembrance and feeling of true love. Hauntingly beautiful, “Follow You There” builds to epic proportions as the piano and synth blend harmoniously into an eruption of sonic pleasure.
Little Red has created crossover, boundary-breaking tunes in a forward-thinking album. Midnight Remember is bold, dynamic and flourishes with its ability to provide universal appeal.