The Oxford two-piece around whom so much hype was centred a year or so back, are now three, having invited Ben Walker to fill out the sound on Hammond organ. They have also left Custard Records with whom they recorded their debut album last year, and are currently putting together a more organically sourced ‘DIY’ album with the help of Oxford’s favourite son, Gaz Coombes.
‘Wonderful,’ is the first single to be lifted from that forthcoming album, and from what I can remember of their earlier work, I’d have to say that this particular track sounds far superior! See, I happen to think the ‘power-duo,’ sound that was favoured by so many bands was over-hyped, over-played and overly restrictive. But with the simple addition of Ben’s Hammond, ‘Wonderful’ takes on a warmer and less stark feel.
Of course, it’s Juju’s vocals that remain the focus, but again I sense a more ‘relaxed’ feel to her performance here. She still delivers with that powerful and soulful refrain, but perhaps because this particular song refers to a time when she lost her voice for three years and was told she would never sing again, she pares back a little and doesn’t give the impression of trying too hard.
‘Wonderful,’ kind of breaks the mould of what you’d probably expect from LITTLE FISH and is refreshing in its own right, as it doesn’t attempt to follow any trend or fad.
Where I previously regarded their earlier work as being ‘jagged and sharp,’ this one comes across as being overall more ‘smooth and rounded.’
(Released through Estupendo Records on 26th September 2011)