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Little Viking

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Little Viking Band Nashville

The past year was somewhat of a breakthrough for rock acts in Nashville; national publications were all too eager to fast-track editorials focusing on a “the scene” and its breakout stars, and many took to the road to make the most of their momentum. But that’s only true to a certain extent; the swath of bands who received the bulk of the love were largely garage-punks or country-tinged singer/songwriters, not necessarily groups who are as fascinated by celestial objects as they are feedback-happy ’90s rockers. Such is life, and Little Viking received no love this time around from the SPINs or the Nylons. If the features were even just a little less niche specific or a tad more wide-reaching, there’s no reason why Little Viking couldn’t be presented amongst the city’s burgeoning wave of up & coming talent.

“We’ve been together in various forms for about two years,” explained the band’s Mikey Owen via an email recently. And through that time the group has seen its share of transformation, transitioning Little Viking’s members to where they are now. Performing solo as Mikey Owen Out to Sea, the vocalist eventually hooked up with Mike Frazier in forming Leach. “Leach inherited some Out To Sea material” noted Owen, cheekily commenting on the turning point for his previous act, “I don’t really do that anymore. It turns out people go to shows to have a good time, so it just wasn’t going to work.”

Citing bands like ’90s alt-heads Hum equally alongside astronomer Carl Sagan as influences, Little Viking craft their sound directly from their influences, a rather informal yet unique process that Owen attributes to “random bouts of psychedelia and surrealism.” When asked about where the band’s common interest in stars comes from, Owen added, “Mostly psychoactive drugs, Dr. Sagan’s Cosmos, and the endless quest to bring unity to the laws of the very big and the laws of the very small. Girls like stars and stuff.”

Late last year the group released Howling at the Earth as a limited edition cassette and download via Jeffery Drag Records, a local imprint whose motto reads, “Tapes n vinyl. For the kids.” Right now Little Viking is demoing new material which is being planned for a 7″ JDR release sometime early this year. In the meantime however, don’t expect the band to take it easy. “Kevin, Mike, and I are all in a band called Bad Cop,” explained Owen. “Justin has a good post-rock project called Small Gods. Kevin and I are in a future-music band called Doctor. We’re all busy.”

In the meantime until their new release drops, Howling at the Earth is still being offered as a free download from the band’s Bandcamp page.