Interview: Littlefoot’s Erica Sutherland on crafting dream-pop, filling out a band, and making the jump from Providence
After making waves down Interstate 95 in Providence and establishing herself as newcomer to the Boston music scene, Erica Sutherland and her dream-pop music project Littlefoot have quickly made a positive impression in her new surroundings. This Sunday at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge, Littlefoot will be taking the stage on a show presented by Illegally Blind featuring California all-girl garage rock outfit Peach Kelli Pop, lo-fi fuzz rockers Fleabite, indie-pop act Bong Wish and down and dirty rock & rollers Feral Jenny for what should be an absolute rager.
In advance of the show, Vanyaland caught up with Littlefoot to chat about performing in Boston versus performing in Providence, the art of dream-pop, managing a rotating cast of band members, and what people unfamiliar with Littlefoot can expect from them live at this Sunday’s matinee show.
Rob Duguay: From starting Littlefoot in Providence and now being currently based in Boston, how has the transition been for you?
Erica Sutherland: I think we’ve definitely grown as a band, it’s been good to branch out into another scene and meet other bands and meet new people. I definitely miss Providence but I like Boston a lot too and it’s cool to be involved in both scenes now.
Do you feel any differences or similarities between Boston and Providence when it comes to playing in a band?
I think both scenes are very supportive, I think there’s a lot of good music coming out of both cities and the DIY scene in both Providence and Boston is pretty strong with people setting up their own shows which is always cool.
Last December, Littlefoot released debut album Night Of The Living Dreams. In the past, you’ve referred to the band’s sound as “dream-pop” and what I’ve discovered from listening to Littlefoot is the combination of dark shoegaze styles like My Bloody Valentine with pop sensibilities that I find reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. What made you want to play this kind of music in the first place?
Both My Bloody Valentine and The Beach Boys are bands that I listen to, so I wasn’t really trying to play a certain kind of music. When I write songs it’s just a combination of stuff that I like so going into it Littlefoot’s sound wasn’t completely intentional when it came to picking a genre or anything. I definitely listen to a lot of older music.
It all makes for some lovely sounds. So many people lately have been coming and going when it comes to playing with you in Littlefoot, you pretty much have a completely different group of musicians surrounding you in the band since you first started out. Has it ever gotten difficult for you with switching out so many band members?
It’s always kind of stressful to be figuring that out but also as a band grows and progresses there are more responsibilities. If you want to go on tour, you’re going to have to take days off of work and not everybody can do that. When you’re starting out and you’re only playing sometimes it can definitely be doable but I think if you want to do more with a band, you’re not always going to be on the same page as other people about that because people have other stuff going on. Sometimes it’s necessary to grow as a band with lineup changes.
Does it ever effect the songwriting at all when you have new musicians getting into the fold?
Not really, a bulk of the songs I’ve written I leave space for other people to add parts to. I think in the future I’ll probably be doing 100 percent of the songwriting but if I am playing with someone I’ll definitely want that surfy and spooky sound so I’ll probably end up writing all of the parts.
What can people heading to the show at T.T. The Bear’s on Sunday who are unfamiliar with Littlefoot expect when you and the rest of the band take the stage?
We’ll be playing at least one new song and it’ll be my birthday, so I’m pretty excited about that. Playing shows is my favorite thing to do so it’s something that I would definitely want to do on my birthday.
Hopefully someone brings you a cake.
They are totally welcome to, I wouldn’t object to that.
Who doesn’t love cake? I have yet to meet someone who does not like a nice slice of cake every once in a while. Can we expect any new releases from Littlefoot by the end of the year?
I’m working on writing new stuff right now so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m not sure whether there will be an EP or another full-length coming out, right now I’m just taking a tally of how many new songs I write.
LITTLEFOOT + FLEABITE + PEACH KELLIPOP + BONG WISH + FERAL JENNY :: Sunday, April 19 @ T.T. The Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline St., Cambridge :: Doors at noon (matinee show!), 18-plus, $10 :: Advance tickets :: Facebook event page