It’s hard to be a truly original voice in the soul and blues territory that Son Little has chosen as his medium, but he manages it. On his second album, New Magic, the singer-songwriter (Aaron Livingston when he’s off stage) manages it better than he ever has before. Rootsier than his self-titled debut and all the stronger for it, Livingston’s latest dials back the busy modern rock production and psych-blues noise to reveal songwriting that is more classic yet less predictable, and enchanting in its spare intimacy.
Starting with the title, the Philadelphia native plays subtly with the idea that there is something preternatural about the blues, or maybe he actually probes what that something might be.
Son Little first came to prominence as Aaron Livingston, the unassuming Philadelphia-bred singer-songwriter with a clarion tone that pierced flesh with the same kind of urgency that elicited goosebumps whenever Kurt Cobain made a sound. As one half of the experimental duo Icebird, Little and producer RJD2 levitated across The Abandoned Lullaby. Little provided a striking punctuation to .