Little Gang "Half of Everything"
Little Gang is the brainchild of Sweden-based American Jacob Snavely, who whilst taking a break from his day job as tour Manager for Two Gallants, was curious to experiment with the recording of his own material. Accumulating a supporting cast of local Stockholm musicians, ‘Half of Everything’ began to take shape, and has resulted in a hauntingly beautiful and experimental record.
‘Wait I’m Slow’, with Snaely’s vocals mirrored in female harmony has the slowly bubbling pulse and sonic scope of The National’s recent travails, with distant distorted percussion and pianos. ‘Fire’ and ‘Ah Haa Ha’ take similar paths, though ratcheting up the awkward and pummelling cut-up beats beneath chiming guitar figures, disturbing atmospheric noise and detached voices.
The twisted beats and rhythms serve as something like a core to the Little Gang sound; ‘Serenade’ and ‘Let It Breathe’ seem to offer the album’s most outward melodic pop turns, although the darkly-lit piano ballad ‘Saving Grace’ is also a subdued delight; like much of the record, cloaked in delicious haunting reverb and a hazy menace among the pretty swathes of harmony. Closer ‘Halvt av Alt’ featuring the delightful vocals of Ane Brun seems to tie up a lot of the melodic loose ends amongst its crashing waves of atmosphere and booming conclusion.
‘Half of Everything’ works very well as a mood piece, an ambient song cycle; Snavely’s enigmatic poetry of the unquiet heart is often impenetrable and difficult to decipher, but somehow in context suitable for the relative cold and detachment of the unusual rhythms, and dense atmosphere of this intriguing record. A brave and enjoyable debut.