A musical map of America
Son Little’s new album is American music in its purest form. The artist formerly known as Aaron Livingston knows his nation and its sounds well. He was born to a preacher and a teacher in Los Angeles, where he learned how to listen and how to play before moving east to New York and New Jersey. He dropped in and out of schools and scenes in Manhattan then Philadelphia, and there he collaborated with acts like The Roots and RJD2. He first planted his flag as Son Little with last year’s highly praised EP "Things I Forgot," a small collection of big songs that showcased his ability to hop across genres as well as he does state lines. The reach of his music is all over the map, literally. And he can hear a map in his music. In it, he can recognize the places he’s lived, traveled, and played to, places explored and discovered. "I hear places in the songs without trying to evoke them while writing. I can trace where a lot of my music came from, as my life and my family touch so many different places. I can hear Lake Charles, Louisiana, in my voice, the way I say some of the words; I hear New York in my lyrics. Detroit is a place I haven’t spent a ton of time in, but if I explore the music of Detroit, I can hear myself in there, too." The songs on his new album, "Son Little," follow suit. They teem with small moments creating a bigger picture, a pointillist art piece made from junkyards and viewed from space. Songwriter Korey Dane opens.