Little Tybee is an Atlanta, GA five-piece specializing in picturesque folk with pastoral flourishes, gorgeous harmonies and modest hooks that frequently sneak up on you and somehow sound huge.
Before hearing Little Tybee’s music, the band’s name somewhat baffled me. With research, I soon discovered the its origin to be an island of the same name off the coast of Georgia, near Savannah. The area’s tourist site TybeeVisit.com describes Little Tybee (the island) as “a pure, uninhabited nature preserve, accessible only by boat…with coastal marshes, pristine beaches, natural dunes and subtropical forests of live oak, pine and palm”.
Upon listening to the skillful, yet natural, interplay between the tightly-knit quintet and its multihued textures, it’s quite obvious the ways the namesake matches the music. In getting acquainted with Little Tybee’s albums Building a Bomb and the new release, Humorous to Bees, you can hear a lush environment of ornate orchestration and charming harmonies akin to Vetiver or, say, Fleet Foxes. The band distinguishes itself by assuredly carving big hooks in the midst of humble, folksy songs, like flora sprouting from seemingly arid landscapes. It is also a band loose enough to unwind into a jam but classicist enough to stiffen the reins of the song once it appears on the verge of breaking away. In the duration of a handful of listens to the albums Building a Bomb and Humorous to Bees, I thought of an adorable little girl I know and her fondness for catching butterflies in mason jars, how the butterfly flutters every which way (seemingly all at once), and how it appears to be free enough but also tightly preserved.
In the two songs Little Tybee performed live in this session at Big Car, “Mind Grenade” and “Sympathetic Eye”, the band unveiled an unabashedly smooth set of folk-pop songs dead-set on jubilantly bouncing around the heads of those looking to be break free from the world’s exhaust and just be at ease with the simple splendor at every turn. Utilizing elegant strings, acoustic guitars, Latin drumming and melodic crooning, Little Tybee is right at home in the slow, good life. Enjoying these songs, it’s just as easy to imagine sitting seaside with a summer drink on the coast of Lisbon or Barcelona as it conjuring a late night stroll down a Savannah boardwalk, casting your eyes towards everything not so distantly hanging beyond the blinking city lights.
Finding the beauty in your homelands and in life around you is an unsung, blessed achievement. Sharing that very beauty with others in parts unknown is a testament to one’s enthusiasm and grace. Little Tybee is finding interesting ways of doing just that; nothing more, nothing less.
Recorded and Mixed by Jeff DuPont
Filmed and Edited by Doug Fellegy
Written by Justin Wesley