From the moment the violin swept in on the title track of Little Tybee’s third album, For Distant Viewing, we knew it was something we were about to fall in love with. Like label mates, Conveyor, the Little Tybee crew have a clear and rousing enthusiasm for sound, how it moves and how it works, though their approach is perhaps a little more conventional than the Brooklynites. Elements of folk, pop, country, jazz and even some bossa nova all marble and swirl as one across the 11 tracks of this hook-laden album.
After opening with some delightful, occasional tropical sounding, jazzy folk sounds, we are treated to four minutes of swooshing instrumentalism, laced with gentle prog-rock sensibilities on “Fantastic Planet”. “Herman” drips with aquatic, almost sonar style elements that complement the rich string orchestration before, seemingly out of no-where, dropping in a surprising moment of grinding reverb. It is as unexpected as it is perfect, but it remains the only fleeting moment of rough with the otherwise very smooth.
For Distant Viewing inculcates a care free attitude in its listener. Soothing, heavenly strings entwine with Brock Scott’s rich and slightly sweet vocals as they lick flame like around the rat-a-tat of percussion and the light twang of guitar. It feels fresh at every listen, as if it has just been conceived, improvised, jammed. It is an album that will make you smile, make you sway and hell, maybe even kick off your shoes and have a little shuffle.
Named after an island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, the music of Little Tybee has a sun kissed feel, not bleached out and surf swept, but bright and breezy. Part Vampire Weekend, part Simon and Garfunkel, perhaps even part Juan Zelada (for they have his charm in their song writing), it is like a glorious summer’s day, it is to be revelled in.
’For Distant Viewing’ is out now on Paper Garden Records and can be ordered, along with other Little Tybee goodies, here.