The Trouble with Teeth, the latest release from three-piece indie band Little Coyote, is not your typical alternative/indie album. Right from the intro track, “Blood Rush“, an apparent air of melancholy settle into the music and lingers for the entire album. The second song, “Bottom” begins with the transition from the end of “Blood Rush“. A strong yet haunting piano melody gives way to a bass and drum lead chorus. The instrument-heavy parts of “Bottom” sound like a more reserved and delicate version of Eisley circa The Valley. “Bottom” has dynamic changes in texture and intensity that make it feel more like a journey than one song.
“Medicine“, the third song on The Trouble with Teeth, is a rhythm-heavy break from the melancholic tone of the previous tracks. Though the lyrics still convey self-doubt, a sense of loss of control, and escapism, themes that fit in with the overall tone of the album, the musical aspect of the song is more lighthearted but gradually unwinds into controlled chaos with screeching guitar parts and heavy, almost dragging drums that create a sense of steady descent. The following song, “Daylight Twilight” bring the tone back to one of soft darkness and brooding that gradually builds marked by the line “Only the darkness can reach me”.
“Teeth Rot“, despite its name, features a gorgeous piano part and percussive elements that create a steady groove. The song is one of the longer ones on the album at a little over five minutes, but the instrumental interludes, changes in tempo and energy level, and wandering feel keep it from seeming like it drags on longer than it should. “Annie’s Dead” has a theatric, almost Bill Joel-esque quality to it in the first minute of it before the band kicks in. The crashing symbols punctuate the enigmatic and cryptic lyrics of the song such as “Cause he’s just an old man/and it’s just blue eyes/it’s just heaven or hell/it’s just little lies“. “Lucy Gets Blue“, the seventh song, falls in the same vein as “Annie’s Dead“, with changes in the intensity of the instrumentation while maintaining the underlying creepiness of the album as a whole.
The title track, “The Trouble with Teeth“, is a soft ballad performed by vocalist and pianist Teagan Johnston. The gentle tinkling piano melodies lead the album out on a calm and peaceful note. The Trouble with Teeth is a cohesive, well planned out, and atmospheric compilation. The way that the songs on the album flow together and create an audible aesthetic is an art unto itself, and one that has largely been ignored by more well-known artists as of late. Debut albums are rarely as well planned out and as consistent as The Trouble with Teeth is. The fact that it was spearheaded by only three artists (with some help in the studio from others) is quite impressive. Little Coyote blends alternative, adult contemporary, new-age, and soft lullibilic music to create their own unique song structures, instrumentation, and feel.
Last modified: January 21, 2018