- SPIN Rating:7 of 10
Label: Tender Loving Empire
Elegant yet uneasy, this intriguing Portland sextet echoes the nervous grace of Arcade Fire and the New Pornographers, minus the electric charge. Frontman Ritchie Young can sing delicate and high or mournful and low, and while his dense chamber-pop songs employ clarinet, violin, mandolin, and marimba, they never feel overwrought. Little Me reveals a variety of textures over time, and when you can decode the lyrics, memorable scenes emerge: "Blue Lead Fences" evokes an eight-year-old at play, and "Earth Has Moved Again" presents a chilling vision of death by natural disaster.