Music

Alright Alright Embrace Female Empowerment with Inspiring Single, "Little Girls, Little Birds" (premiere)

Photo: Matthew Greenlee

Eclectic folk duo Alright Alright's latest single is an uplifting, gospel-tinged number about "female resilience, resistance, and recovery".

China and Seth Kent couldn't have come from musical backgrounds more different from one another. Whereas China is a classically-trained pianist who studied at Vanderbilt and over 30 years of professional experience in her craft, Seth taught himself guitar one day on a Hawaiian beach. Since 2005, though, they've been making it work as a musical duo just as well as they make it work as a married couple and as parents. The result of this ingenious melding of artistic minds is an offering of eclectic folk from their band, Alright Alright.

Gearing up for the 5 October release of their next album, Nearby, the indie folksters are premiering a new track with PopMatters today. "Little Girls, Little Birds" is a song of empowerment, featuring China's soft, smoky croon at the forefront of this inspiring, gospel-tinged folk number. As she goes on to tell us, the song's grand production came as the result of a collaboration between her and the Fray's Ben Wysocki.

Alright Alright's China Kent tells PopMatters, The song, 'Little Girls, Little Birds', written at an elevation of 11,500 feet high up in the Rocky Mountains, is a song of female resilience, resistance, and recovery. I (China) wrote this song during my annual 10th Mountain Division hut trip I take with a group of intelligent, strong, kind, and witty women. Each year, we snowshoe several miles into a remote hut in the wilderness with all the weekend revelry and provisions on our backs. Melting snow for our drinking water, cooking over an old wood-burning stove, and braving the frigid outhouse, we rest, read, talk, and spend time in the pristine wilderness together. So many stories, my own included, bubble up during these magical trips, and I was struck by the theme of resilience that runs through all of them. While my own childhood trauma haunts me, I am always strengthened by the survival stories of others, and as I listened, a song started to form. I grabbed my journal, threw on my snow pants and coat, hat, gloves, and snowshoes and crunched out to a small copse of evergreens a few hundred yards from the cabin. I made a seat out of snow, opened my journal, and out poured this song."

"When I returned to my home studio, I recorded a super stripped-down acoustic version of 'Little Girls, Little Birds', live, just me and my piano. I still love that version of the song but felt that it would lend itself easily to a large-scale production, so I pitched it to Ben Wysocki who had produced 'Like Water', and another grand collaboration was underway."

Kent concludes, "Working with Ben is one of the great privileges of my life, and his intuition and cinematic scope with this song was spot on. Being in the studio with him feels sort of like you're on this Robinson Crusoe-type treasure hunt. The bones of the song are the map, but you still have to find the treasure hidden within the song, and there is this palpable, adventurous energy, a kind of joy, that permeates our sessions. We definitely discovered the gold within 'Little Girls, Little Birds'."

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Laura Nyro's "Save the Country" Calls Out from the Past

Laura Nyro, a witchy, queer, ethnic Russian Jew, died young, but her non-conformist anthem, "Save the Country", carries forth to these troubled times.

Books

Journalist Jonathan Cott's Interviews, Captured

With his wide-ranging interviews, Jonathan Cott explores "the indispensable and transformative powers of the imagination."

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus and the Culture Wars

Infodemics, conspiracies -- fault lines beneath the Fractured States of America tremble in this time of global pandemic, amplify splinters, fractures, and fissures past and present.

Music

'Switched-On Seeker' Is an Imaginative Electronic Reimagining of Mikal Cronin's Latest LP

Listeners who prefer dense rock/pop timbres will no doubt prefer Mikal Cronin's 'Seeker'. However, 'Switched-On Seeker' will surely delight fans of smaller-scale electronic filters.

Music

IYEARA Heighten the Tension on Remix of Mark Lanegan's "Playing Nero" (premiere)

Britsh trio IYEARA offer the first taste of a forthcoming reworking of Mark Lanegan's Somebody's Knocking with a remix of "Playing Nero".

Music

Pottery Take Us Deep Into the Funky and Absurd on 'Welcome to Bobby's Motel'

With Welcome to Bobby's Motel, Pottery have crafted songs to cleanse your musical pallet and keep you firmly on the tips of your toes.

Music

Counterbalance 23: Bob Dylan - 'Blood on the Tracks'

Bob Dylan makes his third appearance on the Acclaimed Music list with his 1975 album, Blood on the Tracks. Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn are planting their stories in the press.

Music

Luke Cissell Creates Dreamy, Electronic Soundscapes on the Eclectic 'Nightside'

Nightside, the new album from composer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Cissell, is largely synthetic and electronic but contains a great deal of warmth and melody.

Music

Bibio Discusses 'Sleep on the Wing' and Why His Dreams Are of the Countryside

"I think even if I lived in the heart of Tokyo, I'd still make music that reminds people of the countryside because it's where my dreams often take me," says Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) of his music and his new rustic EP.

Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.

Film

A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.

Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.