Band of the Day

2012.01.19

Little Tybee

Jazzy orchestral pop with breezy textural perfection
Goddamn city oh you're tearing me up with these crazy laws, well everyone's marching here. Everyone's singing, hoping notes will make it to strong ears.
lyrics from Strong Ears

Little Tybee is a Georgia-based band that consists of five to ten members who play a variety of orchestral instruments. The band is named after a small island off the coast of Georgia, a small island near the island/city Tybee. Starting out on the Georgia coast, Little Tybee is now based in Atlanta where they have gained a loyal following that is expanding around the country. The band released their debut album Building A Bomb in 2009, and followed up with a sophomore album titled Humorous to Bees followed in 2011. All highly skilled musicians, the band draws from a variety of influences including more technical disciplines including jazz and classical. The result is a hybrid of pop and other styles tied together by songwriter/singer Brock Scott's melodic sensibilities and pop songwriting chops.

Georgia's Little Tybee named their latest album Humorous To Bees, a reference to how funny bees -those incredibly co-dependent creatures- would think of humanity's attempts to create communities. Though I suspect bees would have a lot of respect for Little Tybee, a six-piece orchestral pop band that shines by working together. Most songs on the band's excellent sophomore album see an assortment of instruments float in and out, slide guitar, piano, multiple stringed instruments,14 Atlanta musicians contributed in all. The textures and layers of the instruments seem to build, bringing out each other's timbres and melodies beautifully. While Little Tybee does dip into darker territory, their music tends to be light, but in a floating around on summer thermals kind of way, not an easy listening kind of way. Little Tybee combine a lot of classic influences, but resist easy comparisons to individual artists. Having said that, “Strong Ears” sounds a whole whole lot like 1970s solo Paul Simon, which is absolutely fine by me. The song has a carefree, summery jazz vibe; singer Brock Scott's got Simon's tendency to dart up to a whimsical falsetto, then settle back into a confessional sigh, as if he's sitting right next to you. On “Nero,” Scott's vocals meander tenderly over bittersweet guitar chords before flying away on the back of a swooping violin. It's jazzy and orchestral but you don't think about that, the focus is on how amazing the melodies are. “Design” is more overtly jazzy with its elegant jazz lead guitar and complex drum groove. However, it never sounds forced or like department store jazz muzak, the pop-jazz hybrid slides from the speakers in frictionless perfection. Just because you can play a spit-fire, highly complex lead doesn't mean you should, and Little Tybee seems to understand this. The band's highly skilled musicians play together, combining forces instead of stepping on each other's toes and the result is a blend of gorgeous textures and melodies.