How to Swim and Live
Music is at the very heart of Liverpool, as shown by The Beatles, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Farm, Ladytron, The Zutons and scads of other Scousers. Little Name’s one-and-only member, Lee Barker, has followed these other artists out of Liverpool and into our ears. Lee suffered great panic attacks and for eight long years, lived a life of isolation and How to Swim and Live was born.
From the opening riffs of “For the Attention Of” you instantly realize that Lee is the love child Burt Bacharach and Ferrente & Teicher with some subtly dark lyrics. “I don’t really care about you/ I’ve just got this itch that needs to be scratched/ I don’t want a long engagement/ I don’t think you’re serious enough for me”. It’s a dreamy pop-lounge melody, with light horns and sweeping tones and these tart lyrics. The track “Tracy & I” has an up-tempo light beat but is about unrequited love and how their relationship could never work out. It’s these underlying themes mixed with the lush melodies that make this whole CD worth more than one listen.
Being more lyrically driven, I really love “Picked Out The Line” for the story it tells and the bitter way he puts this out there. “I never meant to so viciously kiss you/ I never meant to be so devastating/ Somehow it’s more to do with the secrets you withheld/ Than how much you cared/ Oh, God I know you cared.” and “Just waiting/ To be one picked out the line/ Oh how you’d love/ Just waiting/ That it’s your name this time.” I’ve always thought that a melody can be gorgeous but if it’s not really saying anything, it’s instantly forgettable.
“A Life Such as Mine” is a great instrumental track with a few cascading female melodies that has a Cocteau Twins feel to it. It’s just the right length to suck you in and not bore you to tears.
The last track — which sums it all up perfectly — is the more guitar-driven “You Tear My Love Apart.” It sounds less like Burt Bacharach and more like Belle and Sebastian. “I don’t know what it is about us/ Why we like to stay in all of the time/ I know that outside sometimes is frightening/ but that’s no reason to stay in all of the time.” “You tear my love apart. You tear my love apart/ And while I’m recovering from a broken heart/ you never said console yourself in my arms.”
Of course as with just about every musician these days, good and bad, you can take a quick listen at Lee’s MySpace page: www.myspace.com/littlename2
This CD is a nice little package that so many will embrace and enjoy. It’s one that I’m sure I’ll be playing for a long time to come. The moods are right, the sound is lush and inviting and he tells a great story; what more is there?
Little Name: littlename.co.uk