Little Raven is an alternative psych-folk outfit and even that vague, obscure genre description fails to aptly summarize everything this band is about. The band is comprised of Rafael Green (vocalist/guitarist), Rob J. DiMauro (drummer/percussionist), Kyle Edmonston (drummer/percussionist), Keenan Keaton-Payne (bassist), Fawn Larson (vocal harmonies) and, finally, Gabriel Reynolds (keyboardist).
On Your Shoulder is a three-track EP with more to offer than many full-length independent albums. It begins with the self-titled “Little Raven”, which is an acoustic-driven, upbeat, but incredibly tender piece of folk rock madness. Rapid, but soft, drumming is accompanied by fluttering, manic acoustic guitar and a pumping, infectious bass rhythm. Nonetheless, despite this sonic chaos, the band still retains a soft and soothing atmosphere. This is mainly brought about through Green’s delicate, reverberating vocals, which somehow manage to blend perfectly with the musical insanity that surrounds them.
The second track is entitled “Save Yourself.” Retaining jazzy vibes and acoustic guitar at the forefront of the track, Little Raven is consistent with their musical stylings, while also introducing new elements to the mix. The beat is clearer, more punctuated and Green’s vocals are more powerful; he plays with falsetto and is supported by squealing, high-pitched, electric guitar chords which invite a clear jazz and rhythm and blues style into Little Raven’s music.
“Don’t Look Like Us” serves as the perfect closing track to this incredibly short, but eclectic EP. Little Raven treads new ground once again. This time, they trade in jazz-fueled chaos for a sweet and emotive ballad. Gentle acoustic guitar and plinks of synth merge atop the soft beat of tom toms. Green and Larson provide a beautiful blend of male and female vocals; a romantic, nostalgic and slightly sorrowful serenade. At the same time, this seems to almost be a beautiful and relaxing lullaby. It is not dreary. It is just as complex as the other two tracks, but in a much subtler way.
The immense size of this band more than explains the huge sound that they manage to pack in such a short work of art. If Little Raven could create something so exciting within three tracks, I can only imagine the exciting things they could achieve in the future. They are definitely ones to watch.
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