Son Little – Aloha – Limited Edition, Pineapple, Colored Vinyl, LP, Anti, 2020
“Letting go can be a scary prospect,” says Son Little. “But there’s beauty in it, too. Everything you leave behind opens up space for something new in your life.” That was certainly the case with his new album, aloha, his third studio album. Recorded at Paris’s iconic Studio Ferber, the entire project was an exercise in letting go, in ceding control, in surrendering to fate. While SON LITTLE (the stage name of songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Livingston) still plays nearly every instrument on the album himself, he put his songs in the hands of an outside producer for the first time here, collaborating with French studio wizard Renaud Letang (Feist, Manu Chao) to create his boldest, most self-assured statement yet. Equal parts vintage and modern, the collection blends classic soul, old-school R&B, and adventurous indie sensibilities into a timeless swirl fueled by gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals. It’s an ambitious work of vision and reflection, to be sure, but more than that, it’s an ecstatic testament to the freedom that comes from torching the map and trusting the currents of life to carry you where you belong.