Little Tybee
Little Tybee



by kinderfall1 USER (1 Reviews)
June 19th, 2016 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Now with 40% more prog

Out of all the artists that I enthusiastically represent on a day-to-day basis, Little Tybee has to be my favorite to introduce to people. While their dense writing style and incredible technical abilities make their songs satisfying to the seasoned listener, their simple, poignant charm makes them equally as approachable to a more casual audience. This winning formula of complexity-meets-accessibility makes Little Tybee feel like ear candy in every sense of the term, overflowing with style and grace while also remaining surprising and adventurous. Tybee’s newest album sees the band at its most ambitious and elaborate yet.

The albums kicks off with the very warm and welcoming Loaves of Bread, which introduces unfamiliar listeners to the typical finesse Tybee is known for. Right from the get-go the band sounds more urgent than ever; fully committed to the playful and joyous pomp that permeates their catalogue. This aspect of Tybee’s music is the most apparent on the extravagant More Like Jason, which shows the band effortlessly gliding from sunny-day pop to jazzy post rock to haunted carnival jam fest. Lead guitarist Josh Martin’s frenetic solo only makes me wonder more how I'm not listening to a Between the Buried and Me album. In fact, these progressive meanderings are a big part of what sets this album apart from Tybee’s last record, For Distant Viewing. Little Tybee can be very scatterbrained at times: sometimes to its detriment, but mostly to its advantage. In many cases, the proggy songwriting can turn a more low-key cut into an intriguing song. This is true for the track Quiet as a Sail, which starts off maybe a tad too sugary for my tastes, but shows off its true colors when it swells into a gorgeous, dreamy soundscape halfway through the song. This is only one example of the many surprises that this song, and the entire album, have to offer. These moments continue to make Tybee one of the most interesting bands to follow today, but they’re also the source of some of the album’s weak points. Tuck My Tail, for example, is just a bit too business-as-usual for Tybee to be put right after songs like Languid and Abby. It’s a beautiful song that feels fitting leading into the album closer, but it’s hard not to feel a tad underwhelmed. The same goes for Baritone, which feels just a little too all-over-the-place (mostly in terms of mood) to come right after the very focused yet experimental More Like Jason. Despite such criticisms, however, neither of these songs detract very much from the overall listening experience and the fact that I’m even referring to them as “weak points” is a testament to just how high Tybee have set the bar when it comes to their own songwriting. Every second of material on Little Tybee is top notch, even if it may not click with me as instantaneously as it did on For Distant Viewing.

Upon my first few listens to Little Tybee, I was very quick to conclude that it wasn’t going to measure up to the quality of For Distant Viewing, despite being another fantastic entry in the Tybee catalogue. What I didn’t take into account was that this album is a completely different beast. Little Tybee is far more diverse, ambitious, and genre-bending than For Distant Viewing, giving the newer album the impression of being more disorganized than it actually is. Where many of the songs on For Distant Viewing shared similar moods, giving it a strong sense of cohesion, this convention was thrown out the window on this latest album. Little Tybee is restless; constantly tugging in different directions and refusing to commit to one particular style. This is especially true on the closer Empire State, which is easily one of the strongest songs on the record. Initially I concluded that it was just too varied of a track to succeed, but in hindsight it feels like the best goodbye Tybee could have given us. Aside from being a jaw-droppingly beautiful song, the huge synth lead and the flurry of acoustic guitars that conclude it are some of the strongest indicators of the band’s growth on the album. Where Left Right succeeded as the final hurrah on Tybee’s last album by being so unique from the rest of the track listing, Empire State succeeds in a completely different way: as a conglomeration of what the album has to offer. Everything that defines Tybee on their latest album is exemplified on Empire State: dreamy songwriting, progressive diversions, unique instrumentation, and above all a staggering sense of maturity. To say that Little Tybee sounded better on their last album would be to discredit the band for using a formula that is simply harder to nail down. Where For Distant Viewing thrived in being straightforward, Little Tybee thrives in its audacity, proving to be another incredible project from a band deserving of far more recognition than it receives, even if it may be a bit harder of a pill to swallow.

user ratings (31)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 20th 2016


I crowdfunded this. yaaay

June 20th 2016


Album Rating: 4.5

Same here; still waiting for my t shirt and vinyl

June 20th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

glad to see a review for this. loving this album

June 20th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

this is nice. love the bass

July 10th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

album has been on repeat in my car for weeks now, i feel its slightly better than For Distant Viewing, but i prefer the more proggy aspects of this album.

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