by Felicity Rennie –
|I am not convinced that the use of a rainstick (or a very convincing similar effect) in the opening strains of Sunshower, the first track and first single from The Little Stevies’ debut album Love Your Band, is a coincidence. An instrument noted for its relaxation qualities, it says a lot about the album that follows, which, like a rainstick, is carefully constructed, filled with surprise gems, and is unequivocally soothing. This is a strong, inspired debut from a very promising three piece.|
Produced diligently by Jimi Maroudis (You Am I, Eskimo Joe), and filled with beautiful tales and sad stories, listeners will be instantly struck by similarities to The Waifs, or that characteristic Candle Records sound from Melbourne in the late nineties. There’s much to compare here, but the melodies are so uplifting and the lyrics so carefully crafted that the album very much stands on its own feet. Grandma is touchingly tragic, a snapshot of lost love, lost youth and lost memories, but compare this to opening track Sunshower which is bright and brilliant and bursting with happiness. The dichotomy within the album is truly fascinating, and the collage of tracks assembled here showcases true talent – musically and lyrically – that will leave few disappointed.
Much of the subject matter of the album is sad or wistful (Ticket To Where You Are is a tortured tale of long distance love; Making My Sweetheart Smile is a heart wrenchingly beautiful duet), but overriding this is a youthful optimism that permeates the lyrics (Somewhere We’ve Just Been is just plain road trip fun, while catchy harmonies abound in Come To Miss You). The Two Loves Of His Life (Tram Song) is a standout, and at times recalls glimpses of Paul Kelly’s From St Kilda To Kings Cross. Peggy Suicide is a darkly Whitlams-esque meandering that really showcases the band’s versatility.
This is such an outstanding album that I fear my words won’t do it justice. Fans of the laid back style of Angus and Julia Stone or the country slant of The Waifs will lap this up, but this is not the extent of the album’s appeal. It is so touchingly beautiful, perhaps on par with George’s debut album, but there is so much more to it than just beauty. It is fun and light-hearted and yet so disciplined in style and substance that this isn’t just a flash in the pan offering. I urge you all to seek out this album – and the band – and I guarantee it will be an experience you won’t easily forget.
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