Little Wings, “Where”

Liz Pelly

“You’re more of a vibe guy, we know this,” Phil Elvrum of the Microphones says to Kyle Field, just a couple of moments into Wise Old Little Boy, a scrappy, 2004 documentary exploring the duo’s creative partnership as they toured houses and makeshift spaces on a tour of the same name. Sitting in Field’s overgrown Portland backyard, Elvrum was commenting on his own tendency towards precision as opposed to Field’s meandering and intuitive approach to playing music. Indeed, Field has a clear sense of mood-shaping that seems to make him an ideal collaborator: in addition to playing on two Microphones records, he’s also played with M. Ward, Devendra Banhart, and Calvin Johnson over the years.

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Before all of that, though, Field has also been making music of his own as Little Wings since the late 90s. His eleventh full-length record, Explains, is due on next month on Woodist. On “Where”, a winding, folk-tinged pop song, Field carefully crafts images of a sleeping town, its crashing waterfall, hills by the sea, and a wide moon, before wandering his way over to a self-reflective ending: “They say it happened quite a long time ago some say that I lost my mind / but if you think about the time we spent, the nights that we bent, the places we went, where we want to go … what a road, what a road, making our home away from home.” The song is streaming below.

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