Little Girls noise-band composed of Canadian men

By Peter Walters

I think we can all agree that there has been a fair share of irony floating around in indie music, indie film and hipster culture in general over the past decade. I watched the set of Canadian group Women at this year’s Pitchfork music festival in Chicago, given a good listen to the debut album of California-based band Girls and have now had the pleasure of listening to the debut release of budding Canadian post-punk group Little Girls. Besides the bands consisting solely of grown men, there isn’t much else these groups share in common.Little Girls comprises Mr. Josh McIntyre and his Torontonian cohorts. Their first full-length album “Concepts” released on Oct. 13 featured “Youth Tunes,” marking the track’s third release. The band belongs to Toronto’s Paper Bag Records label and received financial support from the Canadian government to help fund the production of “Concepts” (explaining the “Canada” logo on the back side of the record). “Concepts” was recorded at home between December 2008 and August 2009, using what McIntyre admits was cheap equipment. This helped to achieve the lo-fi/no-fi post punk sound he was searching for. Fuzzed and reverbed voices, clean guitars, drum machines and an occasional sample from an old film are the sounds that craft “Concepts.”

“Concepts” follows that vein of noise-pop music that reaches back with nostalgia to the post-punk movements of the early 90s. Despite the fact the lyrics are completely indiscernible, except for the sampled voice on “Youth Tunes,” the songs still manage to carry a dark tone. The vocals are distant, and are more reminiscent of Deerhunter’s laden chanting than they are of Nathan Williams’ (Wavves) sad beach ramblings. While Williams likes to “ooh” with a scratchy voice when he isn’t saying something coherent, Little Girls choose to never provide the listener with a spoken message.

Regardless, some of the greatest bands of our time, for example Radiohead or Animal Collective, have thrived on less than loquacious lyrics. Go to any Radiohead concert and watch the droves of fans struggle to match Thome Yorke’s falsetto mutterings, and you can only really tell what Avey Tare is saying if you’ve listened to the Animal Collective records closely. What makes these vocalists great is that they have fine-tuned their style. They both bring energy and inflection to the table, with Yorke hitting sweet grace notes and Tare belting out Animal Collective’s classic screams. Little Girls understand that a voice has more than one dimension- it is okay to strip away the literary and use vocals as a tool to craft a sound.

While there really seems to be no concept behind the album itself, the song titles reflect things that could be concepts: “Seeing,” “Salt Swimmers” and “Growing.” The title track “Concepts” hits hard with the album’s signature eighth note drums and hall reverb snare. The drums push the album forward, to the next track entitled “Imaginary Friends,” which sounds unmistakably like Wavves’ “So Bored” from the album “Wavvves.” The drum tracks are nearly identical, which makes one wonder what Wavves must think of having musical understudies.It turns out that Little Girls has toured with and opened for Wavves, as well as Monotonix and Japandroids.

Despite these claims to fame, Little Girls is still a little act. They are currently on a small tour of Canada and the US with fellow Paper Bag label-mates You Say Party! We Say Die! As of yet, they have no dates currently scheduled for the Twin Cities. You can however find them on their Myspace ( and give them a listen. If you are a fan of Wavves, Japandroids, Health, Ponytail or any other Noise music, give Little Girls a listen.