Interview: Son Little

“I’ve always had a thing for lyrics,” says Son Little, the artist formerly known as Aaron Livingston and literal son of a preacher man, who recently released his self-titled debut album on label ANTI- Records. “I’ve written a lot of songs in the last few years, and had done a lot of work where there was a producer handling most of the musical aspects of what I was doing, and I was focused on writing.  The idea here was for me to take that producer role myself, and also sing and write.  I don’t really have a particular process, the main goal is to end with something that pleases me lyrically, and I do whatever seems right to get that vocal idea across.”

The debut is truly a melting pot of musical styles–a little bit of acoustic blues, a touch of R&B, all tinged with that deliciously soulful vintage flavor simmering just beneath the surface.  His music is a reflection of his surroundings, his extensive travels shaping the way he hones his craft: “‘Cross My Heart’ is something that I wrote when I was staying in upstate New York for a good while; something that I wasn’t particularly used to, I was in a place where I could sing at the top of my lungs and turn the guitar up as loud as possible and no one could hear it.  I think it brought a certain stillness to the sound of that song, and to some of the others that I worked on up there.  It’s funny, I’d lived in the city for a long time, and it made me realize how loud it was all the time. I hadn’t heard actual silence in a long time. That experience has informed everything on the album, it’s partly why a lot of what I did was very sparse, I’d come to to appreciate silence.  I wrote ‘Mother’ on a train in France; just taking a ride gives you time to gather your thoughts,” he explains.

This “sparse” quality of which Son LIttle speaks allows his voice and honesty to shine, clearing a path for every tune to travel a fast track to and take residence in every chamber of the heart.  “Each song has something about it…I’d have to say ‘About A Flood’, the last song on the record, has a particular significance to me, partly because it’s the last song.  It wasn’t the last one I put together, but it was a song that I knew instantly was going to make the record. Some songs just kind of sound like a last song, and that song definitely had that quality,” he recalls.   “To me, it represents going full circle with the project; lyrically it’s kind of a release of tension, it just feels really good.”

Son Little will be performing at The High Watt in Nashville on Saturday, November 7th; tickets for the 18+ show, presented by Communion Music, are $10.00.  Doors are at 8:00 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.

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Susan Hubbard

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