The Little Ones Morning Tide

On the verge of being released and then pulled only weeks before its street date, the Little Ones’ debut full-length was held in limbo for a few months. But it turned out to be a good thing as in that time they self-released an interim EP and found new homes at Heavenly in the UK and eventually Chop Shop, a North American Warner affiliate. It’s certainly EMI’s loss because Morning Tide delivers in full the kind of juice-filled, endless summertime pop these Los Angelenos teased us with in 2006 with the Sing Song EP. The numbers are mid-tempo, so they can throw in a steel drum on "Boracay” to magnify the rays or gently rock you with the inappropriately titled "Ordinary Song” and make a slower number like the appropriately titled "Waltz” fit in without spoiling the mood. Essentially the antithesis to black metal or even Joy Division, the Little Ones don’t ever stray from their formula — every inch of this album is sun-soaked, symphonious pop that could only come from a luminous place like California. Hell, even if you’re buried in snow or chipping off frost, be it in Minnesota or Manitoba, it’s impossible not to feel like you’re there smiling along with them. (Chop Shop/Atlantic)