The third album release by cult instrumentalists, littlebow, signals the addition of folk/early music harpist/vocalist Brona McVittie into the band’s’ complex musical fold, joining mainstays Katie English (Isnaj Dui, The Sly and Unseen, The Doomed Birds of Providence) and Keiron Phelan (Smile Down Upon Us, State River Widening, Orla Wren) and their battery of flutes, clarinets, cellos, guitars, keyboards and drums.
Three continues and extends littlebow’s Impressionistic fusion of musical styles into a mood of high-brow, high-summer, high-happy, Kitsch Utopianism and renders their, already amorphous, genre classification (last journalistic ‘pit-stop’ being ‘neoclassical- minimalist/folk-jazz’) ever more intriguing.
Mark Kuykendall is a curator, producer and the owner of Unknown Tone Records (UnknownTone.com). Under the guise, The New Honey Shade, he works as a musician and filmmaker. For littlebow’s album, Three, Kuykendall created music videos using films curated from his great uncle, Elmer Stoops’, archive of personal vintage footage. Stoops travelled the United States extensively throughout the 1950’s-1970’s, making films on 16mm camera to create trick photography, slow motion, time lapse, and more, which resulted in rarely seen authentic visuals of lost Americana. Stoops and Kuykendall are just a generation apart, but share a familial sensitivity for capturing subtle, mundane, or overlooked beauty. The music of littlebow make a natural pairing with these found moments captured in video.
A film, by Mark Kuykendall of the Honey Colour Shade, to the piece ‘Some May Transition’ can be seen below:
Release date: August 30, 2016 on Rural Colours.