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01The River

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Songs We Love: Son Little, 'The River'

Songs We Love: Son Little, 'The River'

01The River

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/359776255/359776464" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Son Little's new song "The River" is a favorite on WFUV in New York City. Todd Cooper/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Todd Cooper/Courtesy of the artist

Son Little's new song "The River" is a favorite on WFUV in New York City.

Todd Cooper/Courtesy of the artist

Son Little clearly studies, respects and loves the music that came before him. What happens next, though, is what makes him so appealing. Aaron Livingston made his name as a collaborator with The Roots and RJD2, each of whom helped him develop a sound that touches on soul, blues, hip-hop and reggae. Samples, fuzzy guitar and simple drums work together to create an undeniable groove, and as a songwriter, he can really tell a story. As a vocalist, Livingston brings the heartbreak — his voice feels real and rough around the edges — while his impeccably crafted songs are honest and unpretentious. There's not a self-conscious moment here, yet it's pop music at the core. Listen to "The River" to discover a unique, fearless voice.

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