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L.A. Beat

Big Little Lions inspired by U.S. politics for third album

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Big Little Lions are back at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, March 5 almost a year to the date they last visited Lethbridge.Helen Austin of Big Little Lions. Photo by Richard Amery
 The cross country duo of Vancouver Island based singer/ percussionist Helen Austin and  Cincinnati multi-instrumentalist Paul Otten, have just released their third full length album, “Alive and Well.”

They don’t often get to see each other unless they’re on tour.
“It’s getting easier though,” observed Austin, getting ready to meet Otten in Edmonton and begin an intense 14 date in 15 day tour, which stops by Lethbridge, March 5.

“We’re both married to other people and we both have our own work, so we only like to tour for a couple weeks at a time,” continued Austin, who not only has a successful career as a children’s artist but also does a lot of songwriting for television and film as does Otten.
She noted the new album was inspired by the political scene in the U.S.

“A lot of the songs were written two years ago before the election. These songs  have more of an edge to them. They have more of a helpless feeling to them. And we continued writing, so politics has seeped into our songwriting,“ she said.

“ We released ‘Unicorn’ as a single a year ago and we weren’t going to put it on the album, because we thought things might have calmed down a little bit in the U.S, but they haven’t. It’s actually one of the more helpless themed songs on the album, and it’s even more relevant today. It’s amazing how much more relevant these songs have become,” she said, adding, despite the serious tone, lyrically, the songs are pretty upbeat folk and pop music.

“I don’t know, I guess we hope they will help take people’s minds off things,” she said.
 She noted  Big Little Lions still perform as a duo, with Otten playing most of the instruments and Austin focusing on vocals.
“I’m also playing more percussion. We’re still a duo. That’s how it works best,” she said.

“ Musically, we keep it as close to the album as possible,” she said.

While it has been a year since they played Lethbridge, they were in Southern Alberta last fall.

“ We were doing a Home Routes house concert series in September around Coaldale and Okotoks, and the people said they’d come out to see us and we hope they do even if it is on a Monday,” she said.
Big Little Lions return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, March 5 at  7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat  Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:10 )  
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