Little Tyrant – “Stop Crying/Dying (A Collection of Platonic Love Songs)”

Grade: B+

Key Track: “Everyone who Wants to Kiss me is on the Internet”

Little Tyrant, pseudonym of singer Matt Diamond, starts off their short album with the proclamation: “I had lived through a majority of my life thinking I was sad because I was alone, but then I realized that it was the opposite, I was lonely because I was sad.” Diamond, the force behind folk act Little Tyrant, makes a mission statement in the opening number “Hi (Corny Intro).” They’re setting the rest of the album up as a set of tunes for the trans community, that’s a little more ambient and a little less harsh than other singers out there.

To call this album short is to sell itself a little – at eight tracks, it sits at 10:19. But the very brief runtime lets Diamond sit on some of the music’s more important elements. After the Paul Baribeau-like blast of “Wastin’ Away,” the feedback and slowed rhythms of “Light” seem to extend longer than they actually do, in a way that plays with the listener. The album’s longest song is 2:08, the closer “Everyone who Wants to Kiss me is on the Internet,” and it serves as what is a lengthy closer, relative to the seven songs prior.

Diamond’s music is more ambient than most folksy-singer-songwriters. “Sooner” and “Light” experiment a little more in an ambient setting, both musically and vocally. Their placement towards the end of the album help ease the listener into the ambiance, slowly moving from folk blasts into it.

Diamond has stayed away from lyrics that are too harsh. Their lyrics instead reflect the basics of growing up transgender. On “Mediocre Bedding,” they sing “I sat at the bar and smoked some cigars because that’s what growing up is.” The lyrics throughout reflect Diamond seemingly calling on others to try to make the most of their positions. “Wastin’ Away” features no other lyrics other than “You’re wastin’ away,” and they’re delivered in a frontal but apologetic, ‘it’s time we addressed this’ type of way.

After a couple of listens, its apparent that “Stop Crying” packs a number of punches in only 11 minutes. It sets up an environment in a folk world, and moves into ambient, all while delivering introspective but leading lyrics roped together for a specific community. It’s one of the more interesting releases to come out of the dwelling transgender folk scene, an album created as much for others as it is for Diamond.

The album is available for download/streaming here.

If you like this, try: Porch Cat’s split with JFKFC.

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