Episode 89: Little Lonely
Air date: 8.28.2013
If you could change your name, would you? Artists take stage names for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s because their given name doesn’t fit easily on a theater marquee – one might speculate that that’s why Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. is known to us as John Denver. Having a different name also can allow artists to create a character for themselves that gives them the freedom to explore varying musical styles or gain a third-person perspective on the familiar world they inhabit in everyday life. Los Angeles-based Little Lonely’s given name is just fine, and she has been performing under it for most of her life - stylistically sticking fairly close to a kind of performance art neo-traditionalist country music. But for her brand new pseudonymous and eponymous album, she smartly assumed a new moniker, and with the help of wunderkind producer and multi-instrumentalist, Sean Hoffman, forged a sophisticated identity that suits the strong new material. Hoffman’s deft guiding hand helps Little Lonely hit all the right marks, as well as providing what Daniel Lanois calls “elements of danger” that differentiate the album from countless other female singer-songwriter albums; a searing guitar solo or two, synthesizer lines that fit because they shouldn’t, and ambient sound effects that give listeners a strong sense of place. But it’s Little Lonely’s distinctive voice that cuts through all of this, tipping a cosmic cowboy hat to torch and twang while retaining her signature theatrical emotive scope.