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'."

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