Little Tornados is the project of musician and songwriter David Thayer. It features Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), Emmanuel Mario (Holden, Astrobal), John Herndon (Tortoise), Caroline Sallee (Caroline Says) and more. Four years after We Are Divine, he released a new album. Apocalypse! is out now via Rio Bogotá/Shellshock. We have the pleasure to introduce the work with his words about each track.
In the case of this song, apocalypse is not a world-destroying comet or anything like that. It is ourselves – The reality is a slow, trash apocalypse, where we buy and consume more and more useless and uglier shit to fulfill the depravity we live through our religious culture. What we buy either eventually gets burned or thrown into a landfill: Whoever dies with the most stuff wins.
The best thing here is the drumming of Emmanuel Mario, and I espcially like the snare. The song is about a lot of things, including about having spent a couple of years in Stockton California as a teenager.
Cherie la Mouche
I am learning French, and this song is a sort of French lesson. It is about maggot therapy.
Maggot, or larval therapy is where maggots are introduced to a traumatic flesh wound. The maggots disinfect and cautize the wound, allowing it to heal rapidly. But not all maggots work the same. Few insurances fund maggot therapy, but more should.
The guitar is by Joel Raif, and the guitar line is the mixing of several layered takes.
Religion is Violent
If I were religious it would be the kind evoked by George Harrison or Love and Rockets, but only in feeling. If it isn’t love, then it’s a lie.
The spread of Cathilocism required millions of murders and the looting of nations. This looting continues in what we call ‘the third world’ – those countries with ‘developing economies’, which modern corporations and industries exploit through a maintained system of corruption. In nearly every case, these countries were established after a violent colonization, most often, in the name of god.
In politics, religious values are code for exploitation, murder and apocalypse. It is no mistake that the most exploitative and greedy people and corporations are funding political parties who support religion.
When Jesus says ‘beautiful and true things’ these are things which we would already know but which we are unable to recognize because, as children, religion had already torn away our inner mystery and replaced it up with visions hell, guilt, and murder: Religious psychosis is our consumptive fate. Nothing good about religion. It’s better to think for yourself, because the world is real and not an object to be destroyed in a fit of sacrificial suicide.
This song was the first part of the song Dry Fruit, released by Laetitia Sadier. I am especially fond of the drumming on both of these songs, which was done remotely by John Herndon: myself in Switzerland, him in Los Angeles.
Without water, there would be no life, but this song is about trying to do something different, like going swimming in some deep and daring, but beautiful place; that’s where the video for this song was filmed, on the coast near Lecce, Italy, which is incidentally where the horns for the album were recorded. This is also where I met Giorgio Tuma.
I’ve never met Caroline Sallee in person. Her music was introduced to me by River Jones, who I also have never met in person. I met River through a crowdfunding I was doing for the vinyl of the first Little Tornados album in 2014, and ended up helping him with a couple of his golden songs. River showed me her music. I found it so breezy and intense. She is an amazing songwriter with a unique and beautiful voice and I am honored that she collaborated on this song. Hans Hansen does drumming here, and he is a big fan of Michael Jackson. He did a great job of giving the song a bit of a disco feel. The electronic-sounding ending was worked by Amin Khatir, who makes superb music under his project Le Zero.
Pleasure Treasure Airline
This song was co-written by Gareth Wynn, who lives in Malvern. Most of the lyrics were made with no real intention, but in the end it comes across as a song about sex. This is ok.
On this track, Laetitia’s vocals were recorded on one of the Gefell microphones which were used to record the snare on Emmanuel’s drumming – probably not the best choice, but the idea with this song was to do everything drafty and cheaply. I am not a drummer, but on this song, I do the drumming. At times, the bass wafts a bit out of sync, and my voice is often out of tune – but the song is about feeling unstable and wanting to move back home, so I tried to make it cheap and deep, and ghosty.
Laetitia had loaned me the moogerfooger which was being used by Broadcast in the years before Trish Keenan died. This instrumnt loaned the song an especially haunted touch. I returned the moogerfooger once I had purchased my own, but the new one just didn’t sound the same
Diamentes del Sol
Here is a song about an ecological catastrophe in Bogota, Colombia which I take great pleasure in working to fix. I don’t know which is my favorite thing to do, work on that, or on music, but here I try to mix the two.
Giorgio Tuma inspired this song, and I am lucky that he sings on it. Giorgio’s music confirms that it’s ok to be smooth, and it’s ok to harmonize. Within my generation, there seems to be a war against harmony, as if it were‘cheezy’ or ‘sentimental’ or ‘unfortunately un-ironic’. For me, this is just laziness and hater-wash. It’s ok to harmonize and it’s ok to be smooth. Life and the universe work in harmony. Why can’t music?