Little Wings, “Explains”
Explains, the latest album from musician Kyle Field, is perhaps his most polished yet in terms of production, from piano arrangements and layered background vocals to crisp guitar chords and drum beats. It never sounds slick, though, just a subtle step to the side from the usual, and still grounded by Field’s quavering and often mournful singing. The album holds a measured pace but offers enough variation—from the slow charge of opening track “By Now” to the balladic “A Sky”—for the album to feel like a journey in place, which is fitting for Little Wings, whose albums over the past fifteen (or so) years seem like one continuous whole, always familiar but also unexpectedly hard to place. Field’s lyrics are puzzles of existential rhyming and meditative poetry that you can choose to deconstruct, or simply revel in for the wordplay, but not his most effective emotionally. You might feel like you’ve heard the songs on Explains before, but it’s more like turning over an old record and realizing there was a whole other side you missed until now.