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Little Children

Growing Up

Sep 13, 2013 Little Children
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There’s a touch of irony in the fact that Linus Lutti chooses to record and perform under the name Little Children, given that the Stockholm-based singer/songwriter spent the greater part of his childhood wishing he were a grown-up.

“Maybe it sounds a bit weird, but I really enjoy where I am right now,” says Lutti. “I wouldn’t want to go back to that time. I didn’t enjoy being in school. I remember when I was younger, I really looked forward to being older, to be able make my own decisions, be by myself, and move away from the town I grew up in. I didn’t enjoy it at all, actually.”

At the ripe old age of 28, Lutti is seeing the first signs of breakthrough success. His ornamented pop music regularly traverses the sparse acoustics, airy harmonies, and horn arrangements that contemporaries José González, Loney Dear, and Bon Iver have established as a formidable musical template.

Showcasing Lutti’s particular brand of melodic arrangements is the new EP, In Hau, the follow-up to Little Children’s largely overlooked 2010 debut full-length, In Silence. In Hau was written on the Swedish isle of Gotland, in the town of Hau which its title references.

“I spend a lot of summers on [that] island,” says Lutti. “I really love it. There’s just a house and no neighbors at all…I try to go there as often as I can…I always write songs when I’m there. It’s really nice to have a break from the city and go over there and sit on a chair drinking beer and writing songs.”

Time spent in such relatively idyllic surroundings is a cherished thing for Lutti, particularly when your country’s geographic latitude brings with it some very dark winters for months at a time. The literal absence of light that he’s experienced at home found a way of seeping into the music nevertheless.

“I think it influences everything,” says Lutti. “The loneliness, the sadness. It’s kinda dark, the In Hau EP. For me it was really important to write those songs because then I felt like I put it behind me.” Though Lutti considers himself a happy person, he adds, “You have the dark side as well. I think that’s important. You can’t be 100 percent happy all the time because then you don’t develop yourself. You don’t take steps forward, and that’s what I’m all about. I want to go forward.”

Already taking steps to increase his level of exposure in the U.S. with his first appearance at SXSW earlier this year and a stateside tour this summer, Lutti will release his next full-length album as Little Children next year, with another EP titled Falling released in the interim.

Like many artists, he remembers that as a boy his parents wanted him to pursue a more academic means of employment.

“They didn’t want me to be a musician,” he recalls. “They wanted me to be a doctor or something.”

Lutti says now that he honestly didn’t care what he was going to be when he was an adult. What was important was what kind of adult he was going to be.

“I really just wanted to be a nice human being,” he says.

[This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s June/July 2013 print issue.]


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