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Little Heart's Ease
     

Little Heart's Ease

by Royal City
 

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On Little Heart's Ease, their third album and first for Rough Trade, Royal City continues in the direction of Alone at the Microphone but opts for a fuller, cleaner, more polished sound. At times, more polished means too polished: occasionally, Aaron Riches' vocals sound a little airless, and the album doesn't feature as much

Overview

On Little Heart's Ease, their third album and first for Rough Trade, Royal City continues in the direction of Alone at the Microphone but opts for a fuller, cleaner, more polished sound. At times, more polished means too polished: occasionally, Aaron Riches' vocals sound a little airless, and the album doesn't feature as much unique instrumentation as Alone at the Microphone did. However, Little Heart's Ease does deliver more of the dark but oddly jaunty songwriting that made Royal City's previous album noteworthy: Riches can still deliver lyrics like "let my tongue rot in my mouth" as sweetly as a lullaby. But Riches' words are darker than his music -- although the comparisons to Smog, Damien Jurado, and Will Oldham's many incarnations aren't inaccurate (Oldham fans will particularly like the epic "Enemy"), Royal City crafts a lighter, somewhat sweeter kind of indie-country-rock gloom. And, with Little Heart's Ease's cleaner, fuller sound, Riches and company end up sounding less like their contemporaries and more like Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds, and the other artists who inspired alt-country in the first place. This classicist sound reaches its peak on the engaging "Can't You," which recalls Dylan right down to its climactic swell of harmonicas. As good as the band is at revitalizing the past, Royal City is at its best when it sounds distinctly modern; the spare percussion and wiry guitars of "Count the Days" crackle with a quiet energy, and the dreamy, droning "O Beauty" sounds similarly fresh. Interestingly, the strongest moments on Little Heart's Ease tend to be the subtlest; songs such as "Ain't That the Way" arrive with little fanfare, but they definitely make an impact. Alone at the Microphone might still be Royal City's most immediate work, but the striking restraint of the best moments on Little Heart's Ease is no less captivating.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
Rough Trade Us
UPC:
0021823003726
catalogNumber:
30037

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Royal City   Primary Artist
Bob Wiseman   Track Performer
Simon Osborne   Group Member
Peggy King   Vocals
Lonnie James   Group Member
Tyler Clark Burke   Vocals
Bryan Webb   Vocals
Steve Lambke   Vocals
Dallas Wehrle   Vocals
Joel Gibb   Vocals
Reg Vermue   Vocals
Jim Guthrie   Group Member
Katja Canini   Vocals
Gavin Gardiner   Vocals
Pete Gazendam   Vocals
James Heidenbrecht   Track Performer
Molly Jenney   Vocals
Vish Khanna   Vocals
Devon Knowles   Vocals
Nathan Lawr   Track Performer
Michelle Lobkowicz   Vocals
Lisa Moran   Vocals
Nathan Pallett   Track Performer
Aaron Riches   Group Member
Kristy Simpson   Vocals
Justin Stayshyn   Vocals
Doug Tielli   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Royal City   Composer
Tyler Clark Burke   Artwork
Andy Magoffin   Engineer
James Heidenbricht   Engineer

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