I first came across a shy Little Strings in this year’s Ukulele Festival of Scotland on their Rising Stars stage. Fast-forward 6 months and the female singer-songwriter and I were reunited during her featured artist slot at a Manchester Open Mic, and after a confident performance I was gifted a CD to review:
The opening “Bump In The Road” gives a bouncy chord progression that warrants swaying underneath Strings’ double-tracked phasey vocals. The uke in question sounds crisp and punchy, as her voice sails through her impressive range and notable lyrics like “you’re just another page in my diary”.
“What Is This Life?” is slower and gentler that offers nice harmonies to punctuate her phrases. The titular hook is consistently explored and the legato choruses melodically wander as she searches for an answer.
“A Song About You” is underlined by a repetitive but pretty fingerpicking pattern that develops in powerful fashion. The phasey, comb-filtered vocals distract from her engaging melodies, but this well-written ballad remains my favourite song on the EP.
The closing “Drifter” ends in positive fashion, writing about the contrast of music against 9-5 careers. The energetic singalong coda of ‘Let’s make the world alive’ is particularly uplifting and ends the EP with a smile on my face.
Overall, the Little Strings EP is ok. The sparse arrangement was great on some songs but you were left wanting some semblance of percussion or a bassline on the other tracks. The production-especially that on the vocals- was heavily distracting from the overall experience but there are nuggets of good songwriting and performance on these 4 tracks. This EP feels less like the finished product and more like the starting point for better things to come. 6.5/10
You can listen to Little Strings here: