Under Review

Little Sprout

Little Sprout

Self-Released; 14/01/2017

The members of Little Sprout seem shy. Other than the fact that they just won Shindig (amazing) and that two of the members met on Tinder (AMAZING), this coyness is one of the few things I could find out about the band. Little Sprout seem to shun the spotlight. I scoured the internet for something tangible behind their cool exterior. But short of Facebook stalking, there were few clues as to the personalities and potentially relatable flaws of the band members. Their twee EP cover features a Cherry Blossom candy, oozing green slime from its chocolate’s cavity. The band mentions in their short bio that they drew the album art themselves. So clearly, this drawing of a classic Canadian candy that your grandma probably loves, along with the five songs on their freshly released EP, provide the best clues as to who Amie, Sean and Reese really are.

A few things stand out as soon as you visit their Bandcamp page and press play. Amie’s jangly guitar and coy vocals propel most of the EP. On tracks like “Amie You’re,” for instance, her voice and melodies are maraschino cherry-sweet, but detached in a style similar to Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis. Just like the front woman every teenage girl wants to be, Amie is ironically upbeat and unimpressed. When she sings “I am underwhelmed,” she sounds it. But unlike Jenny Lewis, whose song lyrics pander to male fantasy, Amie’ sings about anxiety, binge eating, and occasionally, aliens. Is the green slime inside the Cherry Blossom really extraterrestrial goo? Or does it represent alienation? Her lyrics are neurotic and blunt. She perfectly sums up the experience of being a millennial with social anxiety on track “No Twins Spirits” when she sings “I am so jaded but embarrassed by everything.”

As a result of this honesty, Little Sprout’s self-titled release is reminiscent of one of my favourite headlines by humour writer Whitney Ralls: “How to Pass Off Your Crippling Anxiety as Cooler-Than-You Detachment.” As someone with debilitating anxiety and a nose ring, it’s important to note that I am not condemning the album, but instead recognizing its honesty and accessibility. Little Sprout is cool on the outside, but weird and shy on the inside. This album is a peek into their oozing Cherry Blossom centre.