Little Riddles is a four-piece band comprised of Rob (guitar), Rachel (fiddle), Daniel (bass) and Jake (drums) from Minneapolis, Minnesota, They formed in late 2015 and somehow already delivered a five-song self-titled EP Little Riddles that is well beyond what you would expect from such a newly established band.
The songs are catchy, extremely well written and feel fairly cohesive. Guitars are usually clean and the fiddle is an x-factor that helps separate this band from many out there. I can’t forget the inventive bass lines and sturdy drums.
Up first is “Old Time Radio” which has a fun Americana vibe that leans into bluegrass and country. Imagine you are at an outdoor festival in the summer. People are eating ribs with a side of mac and cheese, the little ones are running around and the sun is beating down. This song comes on and at least half the people put down their ribs, momentarily forget they have children they have to look over and hit the dance floor which consists of open space and the grass beneath their feet.
For those of you old enough to remember the song “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants that's what I was reminded of when listening to the song “Lay Your Money Down.” I think if the band makes a video to this song it should definitely be one of a traditional Russian folk dance. You know that one where a person has their arms crossed and kicks their legs high in the air.
“Riding Every Rail” is warm honey and nostalgia. It’s another delightful song that's about as enjoyable as an Arnold Palmer on a Sunday afternoon. “Get Ready, Sweet Betty” is up next and you can definitely hear some of The Beatles. In fact I’d say this song is 80% Paul Mccartney. Love that bass line by the way.
I didn’t know if the band can pull off melancholy as I was closing up the EP. Well, I’m here to report they pull it off and then some. I loved it. The song is mostly about vocal harmonies and would have fit perfectly into the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?. That’s a great movie maybe I’ll watch it this weekend.
This band has the goods. These five songs are a great start. I’d say their niche sound as a band isn’t quite there yet but with this amount of talent I could see it being more defined with another EP or hopefully LP. This is certainly a band to keep your eyes on and Little Riddles is one hell of a beginning to their journey.
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