Little Stranger’s Techniques EP dropped this morning, serving as a healthy follow-up to their 2015 debut Buddha the Beast. The 5-song EP features self-production and shows that the duo has spent the nearly two years since the debut honing their ‘Techniques’ to create a sound that brings them up not one level, but two. Where Buddha the Beast came as a side project of John and Kevin Shields’, Techniques steps in with a solidified sense of direction and shows that Little Stranger has rightfully become the main focus of the dudes involved.
Although the band has mostly said farewell to their past projects, the Techniques EP proves that they have not forgotten their roots. Once upon a time John Shields played in a little Philadelphia/Charleston band called Long Miles (still does sometimes), and I went to a ton of their shows during my early years at the College of Charleston (shout out Party at the Point circa 2013). At some point, one of my buddies handed me a copy of their Philadelphonic EP, on which the opening track was a catchy tune called “Girl, Don’t Come Around”. Little Stranger has reimagined “Girl, Don’t Come Around” as “Girl III” on their new EP, and it has the same summer vibe with a fresh hip-hop spin, as well as some serious nostalgia for those who were present for the Long Miles heyday.
The Techniques EP is an awesome album for the summer, and I’ve already given it the Folly Beach stamp of approval, which means it goes hand in hand with cold beer and warm sunshine. The beats are at times reminiscent of late 90s and early 2000s production, with kick and snare dominating the background and various instruments thrown in for style. Then Kevin Shields comes in with his smooth rhymes that swim around and keep it fly. The strong production combined with an airy vibe makes for a light listen that puts you in the mood to (extra) chill.
Little Stranger told the Charleston City Paper that this EP is one of two that will be released this year, and with the second EP they will release vinyl that combines them both. Techniques is a a major step in the right direction for Little Stranger and I think that we will be hearing a lot more about them in the future. Catch them tonight at The Royal American with the White Bogan Duo and 2 Slices. Doors are at 9pm, tickets are $10 and include a copy of the ‘Techniques’ EP. Head on out to Royal tonight for a taste of Little Stranger’s stage presence and an even bigger taste of cheap beer. Stream the EP below.