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Alternative & Indie - Released September 15, 2017 | Anti - Epitaph

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Son Little's self-titled debut album was a fascinating and rewarding studio creation, a visionary set of R&B and blues-flavored music filtered through a hip-hop production sensibility. But then Little (aka Aaron Livingston) went out on the road and had to figure out how to play those songs for an audience in real time with a band. Little has said that experience informed the writing and production of his second long-player, 2017's New Magic, and one can hear the differences from the first spin. While Little -- who produced this album and wrote all but one of the songs -- is still a man who knows his way around a recording studio, the approach and feel of New Magic are significantly more organic, with much more of the material sounding like it was recorded live off the floor instead of being stacked up a piece at a time. Hip-hop is still an influence on New Magic, but it's more clearly audible in the grooves than in Little's use of studio manipulation. Little was a very good singer on his debut, but he's gotten even better since then, and his passionate soul phrasing and blues belting are some of the very best things about this fine record, and his vocals bring out the best in his songwriting. Little gets a great groove going on "Blue Magic (Waikiki)," he makes like an old-school soul man with the ineffably cool "O Me O My," he uses food as a great metaphor for seduction on "Bread & Butter," and he looks deep inside himself on the closer, "Demon to the Dark." New Magic is a different animal than Son Little, but both albums are products of a strikingly gifted artist, and listeners who want to hear a smart and passionate musician take R&B into new, thoughtful places owe it to themselves to give New Magic a careful listen. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 11, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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At first, it’s most definitely soul. Then folk. A little further, there are murmurings of electro. And then good old rock… blues ... In short, we sail into the first album of Aaron Livingston aka Son Little without really understanding what’s happening. There’s a lot going on. Strange things. Vibrating things. Captivating things. The musical material contained on this album is as beautiful as it is puzzling, with Livingstons influences covering all corners: Paul McCartney, Good Kid, MAAD City Kendrick Lamar, Shields Grizzly Bear and Little Dragon reunite! A frankly stunning and intriguing patchwork ©MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

Musicologists (and folks eager to sound like them) have long contended that hip-hop and its offshoots are simply the latest links in the chain that extends from traditional blues and R&B, as well as the African-American oral tradition, but more casual listeners often shrug off such notions, insisting hip-hop is just some sort of urban noise that sprang out of nowhere. The first full-length album from Son Little (the stage name of songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Livingston) could be seen as an essay in 12 songs about how the trajectories of blues, soul, and hip-hop cross paths and reveal a common source and mindset, though at no time does Little's music suggest this was ever his guiding principle while making this music. Vintage blues and R&B are at the heart of Son Little's sounds, but on most tracks you have to listen for a minute or two before you can figure out just what bit has been scavenged from where, and while electronic beats and digital manipulation of sounds are clearly a big part of how these tracks were created, this is music that was informed by hip-hop without actually being hip-hop (the songs may have been constructed using bits and pieces of common blues figures, but if there's any sampling on this album, it's subtle enough to never call attention to itself). What Son Little ultimately delivers on this album is something fascinating and unexpected; from the sparse and ominous opener "I'm Gone" (primarily built around the ghostly refrain "You get what you get, and don't expect a thing") and the doomstruck 12-bar creep of "Loser Blues" to the fuzzy stomp-down groove and random noise bursts of the sexy and obsessive "Toes" and the ghostly sweet soul of "Lay Down," this music brings together past and present, each on its own terms, but adds an ineffable sense of mystery that's clearly Little's personal vision. The deep, narcotic texture of this music recalls nothing as much as the beer-addled visions of Basehead's lost masterpiece Play with Toys, but with the obsession with getting buzzed replaced by love, sex, and Little's place in an often unforgiving world. Sometimes troubling, frequently joyous, and always articulate and thoroughly individual, Son Little's cross-genre shape-shifting reveals more compelling nuances with each listen, and this is one of the most interesting and rewarding debuts of 2015. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 15, 2017 | Anti - Epitaph

Son Little's self-titled debut album was a fascinating and rewarding studio creation, a visionary set of R&B and blues-flavored music filtered through a hip-hop production sensibility. But then Little (aka Aaron Livingston) went out on the road and had to figure out how to play those songs for an audience in real time with a band. Little has said that experience informed the writing and production of his second long-player, 2017's New Magic, and one can hear the differences from the first spin. While Little -- who produced this album and wrote all but one of the songs -- is still a man who knows his way around a recording studio, the approach and feel of New Magic are significantly more organic, with much more of the material sounding like it was recorded live off the floor instead of being stacked up a piece at a time. Hip-hop is still an influence on New Magic, but it's more clearly audible in the grooves than in Little's use of studio manipulation. Little was a very good singer on his debut, but he's gotten even better since then, and his passionate soul phrasing and blues belting are some of the very best things about this fine record, and his vocals bring out the best in his songwriting. Little gets a great groove going on "Blue Magic (Waikiki)," he makes like an old-school soul man with the ineffably cool "O Me O My," he uses food as a great metaphor for seduction on "Bread & Butter," and he looks deep inside himself on the closer, "Demon to the Dark." New Magic is a different animal than Son Little, but both albums are products of a strikingly gifted artist, and listeners who want to hear a smart and passionate musician take R&B into new, thoughtful places owe it to themselves to give New Magic a careful listen. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 15, 2017 | Anti - Epitaph

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R&B - Released March 28, 2018 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 11, 2013 | Anti - Epitaph

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 15, 2016 | Anti - ADA

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Funk - Released March 2, 2016 | RJ's Electrical Connections

Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 5, 2015 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 22, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2016 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 4, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 11, 2014 | Anti - Epitaph

Alternative & Indie - Released November 6, 2019 | Anti - Epitaph

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