Monday 2 July 2012

Spiritualized - Little Girl

Single review by KevW

'Little Girl' was always going to be the perfect choice to follow up the sprawling garage of 'Hey Jane', the first single from Spiritualized's majestic 'Sweet Heart Sweet Light' album. With Jason Pierce's pre-release talk of making a pop record, that single, like most of the album, didn't really fit the bill however good it was. The closest to that promised 'pop' sound comes in the shape of this track. A gentle, gospel-infused song transported to the next level by heavenly backing and strings that could have graced a Nitzsche-era Neil Young album, held down by Jason's familiar deadpan delivery which, rather than prevent the song from soaring, actually manages to enhance the power of the piece. It's a definite album highlight and a worthy single. Like 'Hey Jane', 'Little Girl' also comes accompanied by a startling video.

The film tells the story of a girl escaping her hometown which has fallen into disrepair following the fall of the iron curtain, stealing money and a motorbike from her father. Drink, drugs, violence and burnt-out tyres are all included in the harsh storyline which was shot on location on the Polish/German border and features some of Germany's top stunt riders. There were accidents during the recording and a near arrest after police caught them shooting at high speed on the autobahn at 4am. As always, Spiritualized don't do things by halves and this perplexing, grey and dramatic video makes for an unusual counterpart to one of the most angelic and accessible songs the band have ever made. Although the opening couplet of "Sometimes I wish that I was dead/'cos only living feel the pain", 'Little Girl' is also full of hope and beauty too, making it almost a metaphor for Pierce's career so far.

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