From start to finish Premium Vanilla, the debut LP from Little Lizard, immerses you in a psychedelic brass band daydream full of analog synth, funky bass, and boom bap drum machine beats. Set on capturing themselves in true form the Minneapolis duo flew to Brooklyn, NY to lay down nine zany tracks starring the trombone and electric bass. Naming their instrumental creation "Funk Punk" Little Lizard draws from electro, dub, hip-hop, and 70s soundtracks to produce a lighthearted sound focused on good vibes and getting your boogie on.
Coming out blazing with "Greetings", a wall of reverb feedback gives way to a funky little groove setting the tone for the album. Bouncing from 8-bit synth to plunger mute trombone on "The Flipper" and jungle samples on "Rainforest Romp" Premium Vanilla is an uptempo adventure that walks a thin line between whimsical and insane. Not all sunshine and rainbows darker themes find their place in the harpsichord-like synth and fuzz bass of "Which Witch" and the melancholy trombone of "Sunburnt". Not letting up until the last track, "Vienna" is a downtempo number employing dreamy synth and smooth bass lines that are peachy keen to the last drop.
Cover art by Daniel Jaffe
Like the one-legged pink plastic birds ornamenting the lawns of eccentric neighbors "Plastic Flamingos", the first single off Little Lizard's debut LP Premium Vanilla, is both familiar and exotic. A perfect example of the melting down and re-molding of a diverse flock of musical styles "Plastic Flamingos" is not a rehash but something distinctively new. Guided by Lizz D.'s deep bass groove "Plastic Flamingos" glides from trombone glissandos in the verse to the choppy polyrhythmic synthesizer of the chorus. New techniques find their place in Shea Daniel's delayed trombone and the use of fluctuating instrumentation to increase variety. "Plastic Flamingos" is available for download or streaming everywhere.
Check out the rest of Little Lizard's discography on Bandcamp
Combining the undeniable "cool" of the trombone with analog synth, electric bass, and drum machine Little Lizard is a bare-bones delight that will get your head bopping and your booty bouncing. Formed in Minneapolis by trombonist Shea Daniel and bassist Lizz D. Little Lizard draws from a diverse range of musical styles including funk, punk, electro, dub, and hip-hop to create a fresh instrumental sound. Self-described as "Funk Punk" Little Lizard's lighthearted music is focused on good vibes and getting you on the dance floor.
Starting in 2017 Little Lizard was a way for Shea Daniel to get back to playing trombone after a 3 year hiatus. Not satisfied with the trombone's usual role in jazz and pop music Shea began experimenting with electronics. Enlisting the help of Lizz D. on bass Little Lizard was born. Named after Lizz's childhood nickname the duo quickly recorded and released their first EP Break a Tooth in August 2017. Concocting the formula for the Little Lizard sound Break a Tooth is characterized by simple trombone melodies, bright synth patches, funky bass, and blasting drum machine beats. Followed up by My City is... Cherry Flavored in October 2017 Little Lizard applied their formula to dense digital beats, poly synth, and looped trombone.
After releasing these two EPs Little Lizard focused their attention on playing live. Taking whatever booking they could get the duo started making their way around the underground scene in Minneapolis. Inspired by their colleagues the Little Lizard sound began to take a new shape. Tweaking the sound of the drums, adding fuzz to the bass, and expanding their simple melodies through improvisation the duo began putting together material that would become their first full-length album Premium Vanilla. At the end of July 2018 Little Lizard released the Vanilla EP to promote their first midwest tour. Containing an alternate take of "Break a Tooth", a new track entitled "Peach Fuzz", an experimentation featuring theremin, and the first single off Premium Vanilla "Rainforest Romp" the Vanilla EP is the most forward looking release yet. After returning from tour Lizz and Shea didn't skip a beat finishing up their new album and getting ready to record.
Flying to New York City Premium Vanilla was recorded in one day in Brooklyn. Taking themselves out of their comfort zone the duo hoped to capture their live energy in the studio while being inspired by a city steeped in music history. Released on January 27th, 2019 Premium Vanilla is available on cassette, most streaming platforms, and digital download on bandcamp. With no signs of slowing down Little Lizard hopes to be playing and tour as much as possible and have already begun work on their next full-length album.
"Funk and Punk. These two genres seem contradictory, but Little Lizard brings them together on 'Premium Vanilla' in a way that works unexpectantly well. Five seconds into the first track you know this is going to be a unique album, it's light and bubbly while also strange and trippy." - Andrew Perrizo read the rest of the review and interview at melodicnoisemedia.com.
"It's an amalgamation of sounds and ideas that, to put it bluntly, shouldn't work at all. Yet on their new nine-song CS 'Premium Vanilla', they've created a lo-fi universe of warm soundscapes that are funky, fun and tinged with a bubbling psychedelia." - Josh Keller find more at reviler.org.
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