On a back road in the back country not far from where I was born, there’s likely some old fellas standing outside one of the mom and pop shops that dot the landscapes of the area. They’re likely chatting it up, feeling like they are tucked away from the outside world. In many ways they are just that. They wouldn’t have heard of Little Owl from Santa Barbara, CA, or their ridiculously infectious brand of electro-pop-folk-rock-aganda or their latest 7″ release.
Don’t be one of those guys.
A-side “Tucked Away, Our Home Our Mountain” is dancey, hooking you with it’s synth and mesmerizing guitar as sure as any barbed wire. The track is bullet quick, wasting no time in getting to the point and bringing home the proverbial ear bacon with a joyful exuberance that would make any self-respecting mountain man do a jig, or at least take a swill of ‘shine. When the vocals really get going in the chorus, the words just kind of leap out of the speakers like a beating heart.
Then there’s B-side “Christmas Night”, invading our summer months like the rosy cheeked bastard himself. It’s not what you would expect and begins in a very unorthodox fashion that will at first make you question whether this is the same Little Owl you were just listening to. Rest assured, around 50 seconds in the cut takes a new shape with a seriously retro, fifties sound. It almost reaches doo-wop range, but doesn’t extend itself quite that far. Underneath the current of futuristic remembrance a nicely baked in surf rock vibe emerges and, occasionally, takes control.
For my money, it’s everything I want out of a B-side. “Christmas Night” provides a completely different look at the band, one they could revisit at any time or leave it as that one lone snapshot of quirky madness.