By Taylor Odishaw-Dyck
CALGARY – “When I was a teenager, I dove into the ‘90s rock sound, and fell in love with it.”
So begins Tad Hynes of Little Lamb. He’s sitting on the back patio, sipping summer beverages while we chat.
“As I started playing with Mammoth Grove, I got into more psychedelic bands, and I always loved classic rock… But I wanted to take a step back from being so heavy all the time, and just let there be more space.”
This summer, Tad went out on a limb, and started his own project, producing an entire album out of his home studio on Logic 10. As the bassist and back up vocalist for psychedelic grunge-rockers Mammoth Grove, he knew he was capable of fronting a band, so he put his best foot forward. The result is an immaculate 11-track album with strong Alice in Chains undertones.
Hynes was previously the frontman of hard rock band Dumbstruckt, but in his time playing with Mammoth Grove, he recalls learning, “to listen to what the other members are doing, not so much focus on yourself, but to listen to it all.”
It appears Hynes has implemented his observations in his new project, Little Lamb’s debut Cool Moon maintains a certain instrumental coherence, while winding through a variety of unique styles.
There are many notable tracks on Little Lamb’s full-length, but an obvious standout is the title track. The song starts with an extended fade in on a simple, open-tuning acoustic guitar riff, and drops smoothly at the 45-second mark into a full shoegaze sound. It’s accentuated by a fresh live drum kit, a mind-melting lead guitar slide, and a sultry bass line.
The song was inspired by his outstanding experience at the rural Alberta music festival North Country Fair, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary next June. While enjoying the annual festival, Hyness recalls “just hanging by the river, with my sisters and my bros.”
Music is just one form of self-expression that Hynes has delved into; he also started his own embroidery company called Little Lamb Needle Work a few years ago. He describes using this art-form to “get creative, make my own style, and sell my stuff.” This summer, his needle-and-thread skills came in handy, as he created his own cover art, via the mode of embroidery. When asked about why he does this increasingly unusual artform, he responds, “because I love it.”
The very physical, DIY nature of this art form reflects in the music of the earthy project, pulling listeners passionately in to explore new sonic worlds.
Catch Little Lamb’s album release party August 19 alongside Slim Hawley and The Varmoors at the Nite Owl (Calgary).Cool Moon, Little Lamb, Logic 10, Nite Owl, Slim Hawley, The Varmoors