Ostensibly the work of Toronto-native Kenny Boothby, Little Kid’s following has slowly been growing ever since they first emerged back in 2011. Acquiring members along the way, Little Kid have shared stages with the likes of Car Seat Headrest and Half Waif, released a series of acclaimed, home-made recordings, and even produced made-to-order live albums direct to tape in Kenny’s bedroom. What they haven’t done up until now, is work with a label; all that’s set to change next month when the band team up with Solitaire Recordings for the release of their latest album, Transfiguration Highway.
As perhaps hinted at in the title, Transfiguration Highway is an album about change, a road of sorts, that led Kenny to spiritual growth, shaped but not necessarily confined by his interest in Christian mystic tradition. There’s a playful, even comical way to how Kenny addresses these traditions, present in tracks like, I Thought That You’d Been Raptured, where a husband believes his wife has headed to heaven, only to discover she’s actually having an affair, and Thief On The Cross, told from the point of view on a thief crucified next to Jesus, asking him to put in a good word on his arrival to heaven (which works equally well as an allegory for the up-and-coming support band wanting to ride on a more successful acts coat tails). It’s an album that’s equally fascinating musically as it is thematically, a vast array of musical tones and ideas, held together by the coherency of Kenny’s impressive songwriting. An expansive record, it touches on a number of genres and influences throughout; from The piano-led What’s In A Name, to the gorgeous duet, All Night (Golden Ring), equal parts Sparklehorse and The Antlers, and the angular, almost jazzy Losing, which is bound to appeal to fans of Lionlimb or Whitney. Like it’s title, Transfiguration Highway feels like a journey, a path through music, faith and life itself, that many walk. Perhaps though it’s a record that knows there is no one destination, no point where the voyage truly ends, ultimately, we revel in the highway of life, perhaps the journey is all there is, and perhaps that’s exactly how life is meant to be.
FTR: For those who don’t know, who are Little Kid?
Little Kid is a band / musical project… It started out as just me and now it’s me and some of my best friends. We have been based in Toronto since around 2015, but most of us are from the Lambton County area (rural Ontario) and have known each other since high school.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
The first Little Kid show was the release show for Logic Songs in April 2011. I played solo for maybe 40-50 people – mostly friends – at a small venue in London, Ontario. I remember it feeling pretty intense because I was not used to singing in public and the songs on that album were super personal.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Music just comes most naturally to me… I have always loved listening to music and I’ve been playing guitar since I was around 12 years old. Lyrics are important to me, and I spend a lot of time getting them right, but I’ve never really tried writing in another format (poems, stories, etc.).
FTR: What can people expect from the Little Kid live show?
In recent years, the live lineup is typically myself on vocals, guitar, and occasional harmonica, Megan on vocals, banjo, and keyboard, Paul on bass and vocals, and Liam on drums. I switch between my classical guitar and my Silvertone electric, but I play both through my pedals and amp… I think people are sometimes surprised at how loud we are when they see us live for the first time, because our albums tend to skew quieter. We usually stick to newer songs (Sun Milk and onwards) but sometimes we throw in an old one to mix it up.
FTR: What’s next for Little Kid?
Like a lot of people, the pandemic kind of threw a wrench in a lot of our plans… The new album will come out in July, and we had planned some release shows around then, and we were also working on some tour dates for the fall, but now those are all canceled. We are cooking up some ideas for how to celebrate the release in lieu of the release shows, so hopefully we will have some fun things to announce soon. Otherwise, I’m trying to use this time to write but it’s not easy lately. We started working on our next album back in December and I’d love to get back to the Pharmacy (Paul’s studio) to finish it up as soon as that seems safe. And we will definitely make a wider tour happen when that is an option again.
They Listen To…
Empty Country – SWIM
Happyness – Seeing Eye Dog
Angel Olsen – Chance
Wilco – At Least That’s What You Said (Live Version from “Kicking Television”)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band – Teddy Roosevelt’s Guns
Transfiguration Highway is out July 3rd via Solitaire Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Little Kid.