Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
It’s rare for something so new to have such an authentic old sound. Little Girls was born from the solo recordings of Josh McIntyre earlier this year, and with the recent release of their Tambourine EP on Paper Bag Digital, they mine a sorely underrepresented niche of assertively lo-fi fuzzy post-punk that sounds made for the sound system of a dusty record store.
Bouncing effortlessly through Joy Division’s melancholic-pop riffs (“Last Call”) and a surf-tinged Hüsker Dü guitar wash (“Tambourine”), Tambourine is raw and instinctual, young and somehow fun. Even in the spooky dissonance of “Venom,” Little Girls tap into a shoegaze groove that’s compelling not because it’s weird, but because even in that weirdness, there’s an accessible energy, a bubbling urgency that Sonic Youth have been meandering around for longer than these guys have probably been alive. Production is minimal (to say the least), and it hardly even matters that the vocals are drenched in too much distortion and the lyrics are barely audible. This anti-production may strip it of its indie-rock convention, but in the same swoop it lends an all-important keep-it-like-a-secret vibe, passed around in excitement of having discovered a hidden gem that’s yours—at least for now.
It’s too loose to be calculated but too structured to be completely spontaneous, and Tambourine (consciously?) finds the brainiest and catchiest parts of both. Between his other fuzzed-out garage-pop duo Pirate/Rock, and the formation of Little Girls and their releases, Josh McIntyre has already built a must-hear homemade catalogue. Even with two more EPs scheduled for release in 2009 and three shows at NXNE this month, if Tambourine is any indication, Little Girls will make the most of your attention span.