Being a music fan since I bought my first single at 9 years old, I have sometimes thought that there is nothing left to surprise me when it comes to the search for new songs and artists.
But if there is one thing recent years have taught me, it is that there is always something new just around the corner and always new acts who can come at you unexpectedly and blow you away.
It must be said that Mai68 Records have been responsible for more than their fair share of these surprises lately, a trend that continues with the release of the debut album by Ennio The Little Brother, the strangely titled Goodbye Magnolia Stump.
While a good deal of Mai68’s output has been guitar led, Ennio The Little Brother comes from a different angle, and one that I am having trouble attaching a label to.
His music is built on a foundation of hip hop, but takes a more organic, laid back and dreamlike approach than the standard fare. In fact standard fare Goodbye Magnolia Stump is about a million miles away from standard fare, so much so that our good friends at p3dro.net have called it the best album of 2020.
The songs float by on a blissed out bed of sound put together from guitars, loops and beats over which Ennio The Little Brother talks, whispers and raps as he takes us through his concerns and his life. The overall effect is akin to a more mellow, chilled out Kate Tempest.
With Goodbye Magnolia Stump now available, Sun 13 asked Ennio The Little Brother 13 questions. Read on to find out more about naughty pizza, hugs and not being able to cry.
1. Where are you and what are you doing and how is that working out?
“I’m currently sat in the kitchen of a house when I come to take care of a boy who has autism. He’s just come home from school and informed me he needs some double-sided sticky tape so we’re off to the shop to get some! Be right back.”
2. How have you been coping with the lockdown situation?
“Honestly, I count myself super fortunate in that two of my jobs were key worker roles so I went to work everyday. In that sense, not a lot changed for me. I was also lucky enough to have finished my album before lockdown so recording sessions weren’t compromised at all. As terrible as this year has been, I find myself holding onto the fact that we are all experiencing something for the first time and figuring it out together as we go.”
3. What do you miss most about pre-lockdown times?
4. Recommend one band or album that you think we should check out?
5. When did you last make yourself do something you didn’t want to do?
“Last night, I really couldn’t be bothered to clean my teeth as I sort’ve collapsed into bed and dozed off before I realised I hadn’t done them. Yeah, sometimes the truth is boring. Sorry.”
6. What’s your guilty listening pleasure?
“I like listening to ASMR before gigs…there, I said it.”
7. Can you cook?
“Heck yeah. I make a really naughty pizza from scratch.”
8. Tell us a secret.
“I can’t cry tears. I still get real stingy when I chop onions and stuff, but no water comes out.”
9. What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
“To be fair, I’m not much of a night out person, but I’ve had a lot of fun times in Leeds with some of my favourite humans to hang out with. I gather you wanted specifics here…sorry I don’t have any!”
10.When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
“Well as I mentioned earlier, “crying” is somewhat a delicate issue for me. However, being happy-sad is my favourite feeling. The last time I laughed until I cried was the other evening when I watched the finale of The Office for the umpteenth time. THAT Tim and Dawn moment gets me every time man!”
11.What is your favourite view?
“The view over Denbighshire from Moel Arthur.”
12.When did you last shout at the TV?
“Last week, I watched ‘Room’ and started shouting at the screen when Brie Larson’s character decided to roll her son up in a carpet in order to escape their awful situation. I literally stood up and screamed “NO BRIE! THIS IS THE WORST IDEA EVER!” Anyway, turned out to be a good idea in the end (spoiler alert).”
13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
“People stopped reading my absolute drivel halfway through question 2 so I think I’ll just bow out gracefully now and say a big fat thank you to Sun 13 for the chat! Take care, Ennio”