Little Comets have travelled some distance in the last five years, now arriving at the beginnings of their third album cycle.The Gentle EP, containing four tracks of a more rarefied persuasion, dips from the lilting Little Italy – a uplifting tilt on a more simple existence – to a sparse portrayal of the coarse masculinity of modern media: The Blur, The Line and The Thickest of Onions.
“For the first time I think we’ve collected together four songs which are a lyrical representation of our opinions on life – all first hand accounts. I’ve often found it difficult to approach an issue head-on so have often used the framework of a story…. Really this EP is far more naked in that sense… every line is a crafted dilution of what I think. It certainly isn’t intentional, but I do think it marks a slight change in approach.”
Little Italy may be their most poetic and most cryptic song yet. Abounding with religious metaphors (Like an elegy soaking me, Surely holy water flows as normal water does?, and my favourite line It’s a starter for ten to the men who proselytize that a life isn’t owned but atoned), the rhythm doesn’t follow any of the typical patterns allowing them to use a lot more words than in your average quatrain. In all of this, Little Comets adhere to their typical style using African electric guitar sounds and erratic rhythms.
The Blur, the Line and the Thickest of Onions is a song that, as I understand it, deals with social decline (minimum culture, minimum wage), double standards (Why empower misogyny while violence towards women grows?) and the struggle of putting any of this in a meaningful song (Why have pride in a lyric when all the other songs go na na na). The finishing line comes back to misogyny and may be a dig at Rob Thicke’s questionable hit single “You write about a non-existent blurred line / But not about abortion rights.” Part of the song is sung a capella to put the lyrics at the centre even more.
Coalition Of One only features an acoustic guitar and drums. It’s a song about you and me struggling with the job market and the gradual destruction of the welfare state at the hands of career driven politicians. The EP closes on a quiet note with the piano driven ballad Early Retirement.
Luckily enough, Little Comets are nowhere near an early retirement. The Gentle EP is the first offering of what Little Comets have lined up for 2014. According to their website, they will release a new album and 2 more EP. They will be on tour in the UK throughout February and North America – 2014 should be a very busy year for Little Comets.
The Gentle EP probably is Little Comets’ most sophisticated release yet. Instead of the usual topics such as love and loss, Little Comets share their view on life, music, politics, and the welfare system. The EP is a product of a more experienced and aged band still around and loving what they do although they never had a breakthrough, and most likely never will. The Gentle EP may not be accessible for everyone but it is a one of a kind release that leaves me curious to to what else the band has lined up for this year.