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Big Little Lions make pop across the borders

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Big Little Lions have a huge sound and a whole lot of success for two people who live on opposite ends of the continent.

Big Little Lions make their Lethbridge debut this week. Photo submitted
 The duo, including Vancouver Island based, northern England born , Vancouver Island based vocalist/ guitarist Helen Austin and Cincinnati, Ohio based producer/ multi-instrumentalist Paul Otten, play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 11.
They both had successful careers scoring television and film before meeting each other at a film and television conference in 2011.


“When I first met him, I told him  didn’t like collaborating and that was it, then a couple years later I listened to a project he did and I really liked it,” said Helen Austin, who had already won a Juno award for Best children”s album  and then decided to work with Otten on her CD “ Colour It.”  which won another Juno.

“But I wanted to get back into more adult stuff. Friends liked  some of my more jollier ones, she said adding that pushed her into working with Otten who produced a couple of EPs and the full length  “ A Little Torn, A Little Frayed”  which won a Juno.
“It seemed to work, so we decided to keep doing it,” she said.


“We both love Icelandic bands. So we wanted to do something like that. It isn’t traditional folk, but it isn’t straight pop either,” she described.
“ Paul plays  drums bass and keyboards all at once and I sing and play guitar and a range of different percussion instruments,” she said, adding the sometimes play with a band, but prefer playing as a duo.
“ It isn’t financially feasible to tour as a band,“ she said.


“My daughter used to be in the band. She’s a fiddle player but she moved away,” she continued.
For a duo who live so far away together, they see a lot of each other.


“We’ve both got families. But  We’re doing this tour, and we did the Folk Alliance in Kansas and the Sundance Film Festival, so we’ve been  together eight times this year,“ she said.
They are always writing.
 They released “Just Keep Moving” in May last year just released a new single “ Against the Wall.”

“ We’re always writing. We’re working on a new album, but we want to make sure we have the best songs on it,” she said.

 


“ I’ve been writing a lot of political songs lately. There’s a lot of injustice in the world. And Paul lives right in the thick of U.S politics, so we released a single. We have to face it down cohesively,” she said.
They get a lot of music placed in television shows and films.

“We love getting a montage at the end of a show. We got one for the American show Elementary and we got another on Night Shift. We also get songs on regional TV and MTV,” she said they have a good  manager who helps get them  TV and film cuts. they have been in the business long enough to  have formed their own contacts and relationships with people in the industry as well.


 She enjoys both touring and  getting film and TV cuts.
“I once told myself I’d never tour again, but I enjoy it. We get to see a lot of new places. We have a festival in Iqaluit. We’ve never played there before, but they’re flying us in for it. It’s just too bad we can’t bring our significant others. But then it’s also a great feeling to get a call saying we’ve just got a song on TV,”she said.
 They have never played Lethbridge before, so don’t know what to expect.


“We love seeing new  places. I don’t spend a lot of time in Alberta — mostly Calgary and Edmonton because my husband is from Edmonton,” she said, adding to expect a fun show.
“Lethbridge will get to see Paul being an octopus, playing everything at once. And I’ll be playing. There will be a lot of interaction with the audience. We like to chat with the audience and find out about them.

Big Little Lions play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 11 at 9 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 March 2017 09:06 )  
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