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Little Name

How to Swim and Live

(Sleepy; US: 24 Jul 2007; UK: 24 Jul 2007)

Sure, it might seem like lazy music criticism to review a new band by talking about the other bands they sound like, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Like, say, when you’re talking about England’s newest popsters Little Name (also know as Liverpool singer-songwriter Lee Barker). I’ve probably listened to How to Swim and Live about six or seven times now, and no matter how hard I try, there’s just no escaping the fact that the single most important thing you can say about it is that it sounds a lot like Belle & Sebastian. In fact, I don’t think I’ve made it through Barker’s debut record once without thinking for at least a second that I was listening to Tigermilk or The Boy with the Arab Strap. And while it’s not original, unless you have something against twee, Smiths-inspired pop, it might not be such a bad thing.

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