The Little Ones

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

The Little Ones

Cedar Door, Friday, March 14

Although they got off to a late start due to an overlong line check, Los Angeles pop quintet the Little Ones had 'em jumping up and down and singing along at their Friday night tent show. At first listen, the band's sound seems rooted in the early 1990s sunshine pop of Matthew Sweet and the Posies, but there's more to it than that. Mellotron patches and swirling organ runs added the requisite buzz of neo-psychedelia, while hand percussion and Afro-pop guitar looked far beyond the grave of the Paisley Underground. Faint shadows of Motown drive bassist Bryan Reyes and drummer David Esau, which made the group more danceable than most pure pop acts. With all this going on, the most idyllic thing about the Little Ones was the dream-into-action nature of romantically charged nuggets like "Ordinary Song" from their forthcoming debut LP, Morning Tide (Heavenly). The band's far-reaching transcendence made for a compelling live presence that could easily translate to the second-stage festival circuit. Coupled with a faux-indie oddball romantic dramedy like Garden State, there's no telling how resonant the Little Ones could become with a little luck. As Ed Sullivan might have said, these guys are thoroughly all right.

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