Record Label: Ruby Yacht/The Order Label
A message reads: huge things are still sham. So easily understood, and so overwhelmingly so. If this is life at face value, the transmissions within S.AL’s debut are the counter agents. There is nurturing within Little Man, You’ve Had A Busy Day; awakened by nutriments and medicines.
Largely self-produced, Little Man, You’ve Had a Busy Day finds s.al kneading out the knotty burdens of a sun cycle. As a producer, s.al supplies vignettes of tape loop meditations, each an ornate anteroom or alcove in the happy home of the album. As a vocalist he is softly riding the forms, a provisionist of encouraging poems. From the outset of “Winner + Raps” he’s your friendly voyager with undeterrable empathy, bouncing effortlessly over a funky session. The refrain is simple: “easily distressed / excellent at managing distress.” Deeper into Little Man, s.al turns the guitar loops on “Phones” into a serene backdrop to ruminate on the absence of distraction. Much can be gleaned from Little Man - wonder, purpose, compassion, dexterity - but when s.al sings “there never was much else but the work / busying myself since birth,” it leaves a lasting impression that the album is consumed by simple pleasures and purposes. And so, a mistakenly broken loop on “King Size” is work flow, the steady rhythm of carpentry. The triumvirate of the “Idea 5” series seems littered at first, an exercise in revisiting a template anew, but intention is clear as s.al croons “I never make it through” as he reflects on a folkloric place called “the agate door.”
In the darker corners and closets like “Jeremiah (The Weeping Prophet)” and “Home Alone” the loops of anxiety are subdued by s.al’s mantra of “relax, make me slow.” Again, consider purpose. There are depths that must not be overlooked. S.al cannot divert attention. Little Man, You’ve Had A Busy Day has to go to nervous places, places of botheration, in order to bask in the glimmer of closer “$150 of your mmoney.”
Yes, it was a busy day. But upon reflection, it was without sham.