Round up your emos, it’s time for a crying sesh. Hailing from Melbourne, Tiny Little Houses may as well be sailing around the world in nothing but an ocean of their fan’s tears from the stellar release that is Snow Globe. I say this, because the EP holds no respite from the doom and gloom that surrounds our everyday menial existence. This EP however, differentiates itself from it’s predecessor, You Tore Out My Heart (2015) significantly through it’s intense deliberations with a darker side, both lyrically and sonically. Grappling with a heavier, fuzzier sound, singer, Caleb Karvountzis, swirls and twirls his audience through the pitfalls of humanity and the consequences of taking risks in relationships or in the wider society.
Title track, Snow Globe ponders over the idealistic realities that although we strive for, may never seem to achieve. Throughout the song, there is a realisation that since we’re no longer sheltered from the real world some things do eventually break down which highlights the lack of control we have in situations as we grow up. While Song Despite Apathy is bouncy, frenetic and energetic, it also sees the world through a deep shade of cynicism as Karvountzis criticises society’s oblivion or general apathy towards issues like ‘bombs and suicidin’ teens their blood is crying’ and masks this general anger at the world by repeating the phrase, ‘I’m only a miserable man.’
Surprisingly, a cover of Kasey Chamber’s Not Pretty Enough also makes the EP, which adds a different dynamic to that of the self-deprecating original. With heavy, unforgiving guitar and loud, crashing drums, Karvountzis brings soothing vocals that begin to change the original meaning of the song. He interprets that ‘the song to me becomes more than just a song about being overlooked, it becomes some sort of anthem on dealing with rejection as well as the expectations of masculinity and dealing with heartbreak maturely’.
Yet, my personal favourite Lonely People, also the concluding track on the EP could be a song that defines the band as a whole. While not necessarily optimistic, it’s also not necessarily bleak as there is a feeling of a particular kind of grounding; one where you realise that you have to work toward something to achieve it; of course only if you believe in it, in which Karvountzis seems somewhat sceptical. The band has a solid beat in the track, which makes you feel as though you’re sluggishly dragging your two feet across the pavement, further emphasising this reluctance he feels. Despite this, a simple, killer outro supports the track of which can only symbolise hope in this era of confusion.
What’s so admirable about the band is that coinciding with their tight set up of sound, the lyrics in the songs resemble more of a narration in a story than anything else. Quite clearly influenced by melancholic singer/songwriters like Elliott Smith, Karvountzis is honest and reflects on his inner anguish through his own song writing.
If you’re a fan of artists like Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel or My Own Pet Radio, you should definitely check out Tiny Little Houses. The band embark on their first ever national tour in November and you can check them out at Melbourne’s Howler on the 25th.
For now, you can stream ‘Snow Globe’ below on Spotify:
Credit: Photo by Britt Lucas