New Magic

Exploring your influences is one thing, but fully embodying a classic sound is an altogether different, far more difficult task. On New Magic, Aaron Livingston, known musically as Son Little, takes blues, R&B and folk and puts them together along with his perfectly rich voice to create a mostly clean, classic soul sound. “Blue Magic (Waikiki),” with its infectious percussion and sing-along choruses, is an instant catch, while the riffy “ASAP” has the same satisfying bluesy grit the Black Keys are known for. What sets the album apart isn’t just Son Little’s ability to rope the classic elements into a catchy, well-crafted song, but also to draw the listener in with the sturdy honesty of his delivery. Though the roots of these genres run deep, Son Little’s style feels new and in line with plenty of contemporaries with similar vocal fluidity (see Amos Lee) and neo-classic sound (Leon Bridges). Comparisons aside, his sound is his own, and it’s good.