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REVIEW: Little Kid – ‘Transfiguration Highway’ (Solitaire Recordings)


In a sentence:

‘Transfiguration Highway’, the sixth album from Canadian indie act Little Kid, is a warm and welcoming record recalling folk from the Sixties and Seventies.

Transfiguration Highway is the latest project from Little Kid, a Canadian indie band with Christian values whose career spans 11 years and five previous LPs. Transfiguration Highway follows up the 2018 record Might As Well With My Soul and the group’s first release under Brooklyn’s Solitaire Recording. Their music often reflects the nuances of everyday life, with a heavy sprinkle of biblical imagery combined with their signature instrumentation which is quite simple yet thoughtful and full of depth and hushed vocal harmonies result in a simple yet rewarding listen for those who managed to find them.

This record captures the feeling of shared humanity perfectly. The bonds we form and the love we share, they steer us in a way that not even a divine force is able to and that is an existential alert of the philosophical nature of life. It is quite grand statement to be made but Little Kid manages to make it a grounded experience. Through the tracks, Transfiguration Highway describes the feeling of going down a road of loss and uncertainty due to misplaced beliefs, and rising up to see growth and changes, which all are portrayed beautifully throughout.

Music video for ‘I Thought That You’d Been Raptured’

The album starts off with ‘I Thought That You’d Been Raptured’, possessing a sound that is characteristic of a country track, with its harmonica and simple chord progression and beats where Kenny Boothby’s vocals ask God why he was a sinner despite living a Christian lifestyle of honest work, prayer and talking care of the family. Followed by ‘What’s In A Name’ where the band shifts gears to a folksier tune. ‘Thief On The Cross’ is an immediate highlight with its looping banjo and warmly overdriven electric guitar, the easy-going verses serving as a feint for a delicately fraying chorus. The band is not shy in presenting its inspirations which are numerous and spread out. From vocals and tunes that remind one heavily of Bob Dylan to ‘All Night (Golden Ring)’ which approximates Neil Young’s ‘After The Gold Rush’ with its cloud watching pace, lurching piano, and lonesome vocal trade-offs. The album’s standout track comes towards the end with ‘Losing’– a song that warmly recalls classic folk rock. Which explores the idea of regret in various manner- from losing a bet on a greyhound to losing a loved one, it is exuberant but sad.

Music video for ‘Losing’

From the immaculate writing to the dreamy vocals, masterful instrumentation and incredible themes, Transfiguration Highway is a remarkable follow up to their previous record. The album’s cosy, autumnal production recalls folk records of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the frequent hard-panning reminiscent of early experiments with stereo mixing. Despite a few lulls in the track list and a rather anticlimactic ending, Little Kid still craft an incredibly warm and inspiring experience. The highlights that come up are as visceral and soul charging as folk music can be, delivered with both strong genre literacy and sheer passion. More importantly, Transfiguration Highway is an excellent addition to the indie-folk and alt-country wave that is in such high demand right now, setting the bar high for their contemporaries. (8/10) (Aryan Agarwal)

Listen to Transfiguration Highway by Little Kid here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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