Album Review: “Hazy” by Little Fuss 

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Boston’s latest duo delivers headbopping anthems on their new EP.

There’s something alluring about a music duo.  A larger group’s sound may be the culmination of each member’s input, a melting pot of musical influences. But a duo is a fifty-fifty effort. It’s easier to pinpoint exactly where each member’s voice lies. It’s a more intimate experience, perfect two-part harmony. Thus, duo Little Fuss make their grand entrance to the Boston scene with their debut EP “Hazy.”

Originally Ohio natives, singer Olivia Martinez and multi-instrumentalist Cody Von Lehmden conceived Little Fuss after meeting while studying abroad. However, they perfectly fit into the mold of the Massachusetts indie-rock scene alongside other two-piece songsmiths like Blindspot. If this EP were their resume being sent to the masses, it wouldn’t be all too surprising to see these two becoming accepted as key-figures in Boston music within years to come.

This collection undeniably has pop in its roots—these two know how to write a catchy tune. But to classify this collection as one genre would do it a disservice. The songs repeatedly bounce around, blending notes of 80’s synth-pop, alternative rock, and electronic indie throughout its four-song course. Thankfully, whichever genre Little Fuss feel like dipping into, they ultimately settle into their own unique take on pop-rock. The duo experiment with possibilities of a concrete sound while remaining focused and polished. 

Right out of the gate, the EP pulls no punches with the opening track, and lead single, Watch Out. Its snappy half-time drum groove paired and pulsating synths could give whiplash from contagious head-bobbing. Meanwhile, Human of the Century wouldn’t feel too out of place on feel-good end-of-summer playlists. Martinez’s high falsetto has such a soothing tone on the chorus, it would be easy to miss the song’s socio-political commentary: “isn’t it strange / how everyone wants to win the game / just because we heard it numbs the pain.” The juxtaposition between some of the tracks’ poppy, upbeat melodies and darker, contemplative lyrical themes aren’t unlike the ones found on albums like Paramore’s After Laughter, or Lorde’s latest offering.

Title track “Hazy” boasts an industrial breakdown after a track full of gliding bass-line runs, and upbeat, catchy choruses. And “Too Close for Comfort,” the album’s final song, leans farther into the territory of Death from Above 1979 or Royal Blood to with a crunchy guitar riff, bouncy fuzz-pop chorus, and synth peppered in. It’s a bold closer where the group really let their hair down and show that their keen ear for catchy music doesn’t mean they’ll settle for being pigeonholed. 

Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, Little Fuss’s EP feels like an appetizer sampler—not the kind you’d find at any run-of-the-mill chain, but a 5-star restaurant. Within these four songs, Little Fuss define their sound while simultaneously displaying their versatility in a way that’s more cohesive than many bands attempt on a full-length LP. Each song leaves a longing for more, but the two play their cards too well to show their full hand. What they do show is a tight-knit collection of songs which are both pleasing to the ear and inventive.

You can check out Little Fuss’s performance from Once’s virtual venue here

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