MP3 LITTLE VOICE - TH13TEEN
experimental "art rock" trio that combines different styles and genres from pop to punk to rock to funk. with a little emo and metal thrown in as well.
13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, ROCK: Emo
Women’s night out
by: Matt Arant
Lester Bangs once wrote in The Village Voice that women are the only hope for rock. This may or may not be the case 24 years later. But when the ladies Little Voice played the Mind last Saturday, they certainly made a telling point that girls can rock just as hard if not harder than the guys.
Despite the name “Little Voice,” Erika’s theatric vocal styling was nothing short of bombastic. Some have even compared her to Kristen Hersch of the Throwing Muses.
Erika played a mellow guitar and sang chilling confessional lyrics, then the whole trio would explode into a sort of “rock cabaret” on the choruses, leaving her sometimes screaming operatically at the top of her lungs.
Lori kept a very tight beat on drums and joined in on harmonies and an electric thumb-piano, while Mike, the man of the house, switched between guitar and bass.
Imagine Bjork’s unpredictable vocal theatrics in a rock band, and that might be what happened Saturday night — yet all the songs were catchy and approachable. They had all the trappings of a pop-friendly band with tight drums, good harmonies, concise and bouncy melodies and a good-natured dose of cabaret theatrics.
Little Voice: eating the teacups
by: Paul F. P. Pogue
Here’s how lead singer Erika Thomas describes the sound of her three-piece band, Little Voice: “We’re like an indie-alternative rock-cabaret kind of approach. I try to be the Willy Wonka of music. You have the teacup and then you can drink the contents of the teacup and then you can eat the teacup and that makes it so much better. That analogy sums up what we strive to be.”
Mike Rittenhouse, Erika Thomas and Lori Davis of Little Voice have been around for five years and recently released their first full-length album, Th13teen.
We’ll see if these comments on their sound make any more sense. Drummer Lori Davis: “Eclectic and genreless!”
Thomas: “An accident!”
Guitarist Mike Rittenhouse: “Rock jazz pop opera.”
It’s all true. A listen through even just a few songs on their album reveals influences from their favorite bands, like Smashing Pumpkins, Duvall and Jets to Brazil, as well as an overall dedication to the alternative sound of the early 1990s, without the bad vibes that have crept into the field since then.
“I’d love to bring alternative music back,” Thomas said when I first met the band at the Melody Inn some years back. “And keep it as positive as possible. Music has taken a really negative turn and a negative approach. I think it’s important to bring a little bit of hope and happiness into the project.”
Between Thomas’ background in opera vocals, Davis’ studies in Latin jazz and Rittenhouse’s overall rock dedication, they each bring a different element to the musical table.
“We love and respect each other immensely, the three of us, and we have a really good friendship,” Thomas said. “If the band were to dissolve tomorrow, we would still be really good friends and support each other as we always have.”
The band’s name is a bit of satire in itself, as Thomas’ brash vocals are anything but “little.” She also serves as the band’s chief songwriter and lyricist, drawing on whatever life experience she happens to be living at the moment to influence her work.
“We’ve faced a few tragedies in the last year and we’ve overcome those in our ways,” Thomas said. “I think the passing of Lori’s mom this past September and the ever-changing events have an effect. We’re just accruing responsibilities like house payments and taxes, all those stupid adult things. But I think if anything, all I try to do is steal a moment to write when I can.”
“The coffee shop thing has been successful for us, and I think it’s because we pull out a lot of obscure covers and B-sides that a lot of people don’t usually do,” Thomas said. “And I think people enjoy that atmosphere that we create.”
“It’ll be kind of like the first time Little Voice has come out of the woodwork,” Thomas said. “Some people have mentioned we’re Indy’s best-kept secret. I don’t necessarily agree with that; I think we’re just a secret. What’s up next is going to be more of a softer side, hopefully, as we’re still biting into the neck and draining your blood.”
No matter what, though, Thomas expects Little Voice to continue being an active presence on the local scene.
“My whole approach has always been, ‘I have to do this,’” Thomas said. “If I’m not writing, I’m not happy. I never cared about where it was going to go or who was going to respond to it … We’re not out there to eat up the local scene.
We’re not out to conquer anything. We don’t want to change the world. We just want to be in it.”
Voice grows louder little by little in Indy
Wide range of genres gives this local trio a fresh, changing sound.
By Jessica Halverson
With its first record out this year, a growing number of shows and the desire for more, Little Voice is one Indianapolis band searching to name itself in a city of options.
Formed three years ago by lead singer and guitarist Erika Thomas, and drummer Lori Davis, both of Indy, Little Voice has been striving to create a sound that varies in style. Guitarist Mike Rittenhouse joined a year after, and the trio has been together since.
Here, Davis and Rittenhouse discuss why they believe in the band and what makes it different.
Why did you choose to join Little Voice?
Rittenhouse: It wasn''t like anything else that I had been hearing lately. I know that this is really silly. . . but it was magical. I went in there not even wanting to be there. By the time I left, I didn''t want to leave. It was an incredible experience to just hear them. I wanted to help them in any way I could.
What sets Little Voice apart from other bands?
Rittenhouse: I think we kind of strive to keep our music fresh and different and we have a few songs that are a similar style. . . but we try not to stick to one genre and one sound. A lot of bands are really good, but their songs are all the same. We try not to do that -- we definitely try to have a wide range of sound. I think we accomplished that with this album. It goes from acoustic ballads to really heavy songs. That''s what I like to look for in bands. I wouldn''t have wanted to join if I didn''t think they were capable of that.
What do you feel makes Little Voice work?
Davis: I think as far as a musical vision, I''m really interested in what Erika''s writing. I enjoy her style because it''s pretty unique. She gives me a lot of freedom -- more than I would have in most bands. I almost get to do whatever I want. Who wouldn''t dig that?
Mike adds this ethereal ambiance sometimes. He uses guitar effects. He''s not always filling spaces with shredding. We get along really well as friends and people. I dig that.
What''s been your biggest challenge?
Davis: Practice is the main thing. I think just striving to book more shows so we can play out more, trying to practice whenever we can. I think that helps make a solid band, the phases where we are practicing the most helps out. You go through periods of time where you haven''t had a practice in a couple weeks -- it''s rough where attitudes ruffle, egos flair. I think any kind of art is like breathing. The more you do it, the more you can focus on doing it as opposed to trying to struggle through it.