The lo-fi sounds of local psychedelic band Little Bird never cease to cascade dreamy pop rock, and recent single, “Ain’t Dead Yet,” is no exception. The group dropped a mind-tripping YouTube video April 20 to accompany the single. The nearly 10-minute video is the true story behind the song narrated by Frank himself.

The band members had a pretty strong idea of where they wanted to go with the song’s composition, said keyboardist Noah Jones, but it wasn’t really until their good friend Frank Fabor told them that he survived a near death experience that the lyrical message was solidified. He fell off a tugboat into the Savannah River in the middle of the night unseen. In a gator-filled swamp and strong current, he swam so long fighting for his life that his muscle tissue broke down resulting in a condition called rhabdomyolysis. Nonetheless, he made it to the shore.

YouTube video

“Mentally, he is still dealing with it,” Jones said. “It was really inspiring to hear at the time when we were flirting with the idea of the song. From Frank’s story we pulled together the feeling of surviving and persevering amidst what seems hopeless.” 

The lyrics are disjointed across the intricate soundscape as “Ain’t Dead Yet” builds: “Wide awake in the night / creature in the dark / deep in the shadows / waiting for me they’ll hide / deeper in the night / fighting my way home.”

To maintain a productive presence, the band opted to release three EP curations over the course of this year instead of one lengthy album. Part one, Proxima: Alpha, was released a few months ago. “Ain’t Dead Yet” is the first single to preview the July release of part two, Proxima: Beta, and a second single, “Kook,” will follow on May 21. 

“During quarantine we ended up finishing the album and being proud of it,” Jones said on behalf of his four bandmates, guitarist/vocalist Jay Hurtt, guitarist James Rubush, bassist Ben Mossman, and drummer Oleg Terentiev. “No matter how shitty things get, it really is up to you to make the most of it.” 

For Jones, cherishing the little things in life became the focus in post-Covid times, and this sentiment has been reflected in the community now that shows have been ramping back up. “Businesses are really valuing what live music does for their customers and for their scene.” 

Little Bird plays a role in the diverse sounds of multiple local bands, delving into funk with Psycodelics, into blues with Fox Hunt and into electronic with OUKUO. And Charleston is an ideal backdrop. “I think that Charleston is different because it’s kind of like that Goldilocks zone for life on planets: life exists on a planet only in a certain range from its star — not too close, not too far.” Charleston is not saturated with musicians like New York City, but it’s not some small town either, he said. 

“It’s a truly developing urban epicenter, especially for South Carolina and the South. I think the South needs more cities like Charleston to represent ideals.” As Jones has delved into the local music scene, he sees more and more the goodness it has to offer. “The musicians here support each other, and we value what each of us does. We inspire each other too.”

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