little image announce their debut album ‘SELF-TITLED’ with “OUT OF MY MIND”

Date:

Credit: Tyler Krippaehne

 

The Dallas, TX trio little image have had a long road to the release of their debut album. Formed over eight years ago betwewen close friends Jackson Simmons (vocals/guitar,) Brandon Walters, (bass/synth) and Troy Bruner, (drums), the group slowly formed a shared identity around indie rock married to big-screen ambitions. COVID hit in 2020, and it gave the group a greater ability to reflect and fine-tune what they wanted to be; after a long wait, the band’s debut album SELF-TITLED will be released on May 12 via Hollywood Records.

The band’s paired the announcement with a kickass new music video for album single “OUT OF MY MIND” directed by Sawyer Skipper. The song itself is a blast of indie-pop energy reminiscent of COIN and Melodic favorites almost monday, but the video carries a certain intensity that finds the band performing the song “in our own world” as lead singer Jackson Simmons would share to me over a Zoom call to chat about the album. Watch the video below, and keep scrolling for our chat with little image:

 

 

First thing’s first – how does it feel to finally get this out into the world? I know a lot of the mythos that surrounds your band has to do with the long and winding journey you’ve taken to get to this point.

Brandon: It feels incredible.
Jackson: I can’t believe it’s really happening, honestly. It’s been a lot of dialing-in, but we’re here with it now and really proud of what we’ve made.
Troy: It feels like it should’ve happened a long time ago, but it also makes perfect sense as to why now is the perfect time to put this project out.

How far back do these songs date?

Jackson: Most of them are from the past three years!
Brandon: 2018-2019 is when we started most of the heavy work on the album; still, it’s felt like such an eternity given that some of that was through COVID, where we were asking ourselves if we were ever going to release anything ever again.
Troy: In a weird way, it feels like we’re beginning now. I can think of one song from early 2018 that made it on there, and we debated including it for a while just because of its age. I’m glad it made it on though – it’s kind of a cool feeling that the song made it, you know?

I just had a stroke in realizing that 2018 was five years ago. (laughs)

Troy: You hate to hear it. (laughs) I think we all deserve, like, at least two years back. If you turned 25 during COVID, no you didn’t. (laughs)

One thing that I think is special about your band is the distinct visual identity that you’ve incorporated into this album rollout — all of the videos exist in this world with bright colors and an almost-futuristic vibe. How did the video for “OUT OF MY MIND” come to be?

Troy: We work with a very close-knit team, and we’ve been pretty lucky to keep everyone together as we’ve signed to a label and elevated ourselves as a band. For the last three years, it’s been the same crew; we honestly work in the same way we’re working right now, except you’re Sawyer [Skipper, music video director]. “EGO” kind of set the scene for the brand and the vision, and Sawyer just became a part of us now and we’re really grateful to have him involved. With “OUT OF MY MIND”, we had a higher budget and we knew that we had more to do with this release, so we were super intentional with how it’d fit in to the little image world. I love this video because it’s like we took everything we’ve done so far and then put it in our living room — like our own little hangout with pieces of our story — and then the song itself, Sawyer had this idea of how to visualize the out-of-body experience that we all go through every day with our anxieties and stressors, and I feel like he nailed the vision. We had a set designer who helped, and I remember we walked onto the set and had our minds blown because it truly felt like us.

What’s the most exciting part of the creative process for you?

Jackson: There’s one moment that I always look back to in this album’s process — it might’ve been during COVID, but our manager came to us and encouraged us to all get together to really put work in on the album and finish some of the aspects we were struggling with. We all hopped on planes and went to Troy’s house for, like, a week to knock it out; we’d work all day, into the night, at 2 in the morning — and it was just special. All the moments in the studio were really special, but that week, in particular, was one of my favorite parts of the creative process because we got to take these ideas we’d been sitting on for a while and force ourselves to bring them to life.
Brandon: I think our favorite part collectively is when we get to be in the same room together. We’re not always in the same room, so we start all of our ideas individually; eventually, we come together and we make it happen. But in that separation, there’s a vulnerability you have that I’ve never really experienced with anyone else. It’s incredibly special to see that turn into something like a record — to watch something grow from that vulnerability.

 

 

Yeah, over Zoom you have to trust people not to mess up your stuff.

Jackson: Literally, yeah. When I send over a session remotely, if I’m carrying a mindset of “this isn’t how it’s supposed to sound”, then it’s not going to be a little image song.

Was there ever a struggle point while making SELF-TITLED?

Troy: You know, being a long-distance band is a struggle in and of itself. But I can remember a specific point where the songs were on the verge of turning into a record; we knew the world we were living in, but we couldn’t quite put our nose on it. There were three songs left — and it was the album-y songs, not the singles, and we were just struggling to reach the finish line on those songs. I just remember throwing my hands up and saying “These aren’t going to get done. There’s not going to be a record.” The relief when those were done was outstanding, though.
Jackson: That’s why that week was so special to me — it was a decision for all of us that these were going to be done, and we all gave ourselves the room to do that.
Brandon: Everything’s always floating around, and it’s our job to just bring it back to Earth; you’re always working on something with everything you have, with the full understanding that it just might not work out. So it’s a relief when you get to the end and it’s actually done, and you have the ability to celebrate what you’ve done.

You’re about to jump on a pretty extensive tour with Colony House — as I’m sure you’re aware, touring is kind of funky right now! What lessons are you taking into this tour after touring with acts like Switchfoot and Panic at the Disco?

Brandon: I think we’ve learned how our camp operates best. When you’re on tour, and especially at the size we’re at — in a van, making gnarly drives — for us, touring is 90% logistics and 10% doing it.
Jackson: Maybe 95% and 5%. (laughs)
Brandon: So having a tour manager we trust, knowing how to give each other space, and making our home on the road as much as we can helps our camp. If you have that, then you can trust one another better, and try to communicate as well as possible. Every tour, there’s something that’s new, but we feel more prepared and more emotionally mature than we have before.
Jackson: I think we’ve learned how to talk to each other when things need to be talked about — if you kick stuff under the rug and let the tension build, then everyone loses!

Pre-order SELF-TITLED here, and check out little image’s tour dates with Colony House here.

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