Little Girls - Valley Songs

Little Girls – Valley Songs (Album Review)

Like any era of popular music, certain songs or acts get lost in the sands of time. Now four decades since the ‘80s, many bands, films, or television series of the time have been achieved somewhere in a dusty closet. Sad, but true, fortunately there are some out there that still have respect for the past, it’s significance to the present, as we move toward the future. This in mind, one such band that few may recall, but are about to learn about, are Southern California’s the Little Girls.

The creative vision of two sisters, Caron and Michele Maso, the Little Girls are best described as a Power Pop band fresh with style that mixed Rock, Punk, and yes Pop, for a sound that was fitting of the broad early ‘80s New Wave scene. A scene which reached from the European region to the West Coast of the USA, some bands you could put the Little Girls next to would include The Flirts (known for songs like 1982’s “Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)”), the lovely Josie Cotton (with songs like “Johnny Are You Queer?”), or even the world-famous all-girl band, The Go-Go’s. Possessing an energy all their own, in 1980 they attracted the attention of Guitarist Kip Brown (from LA Punk band SHOCK), and thus their music started to take shape. Fast forward a bit, they recorded  “Earthquake Song,” continued to play local shows, and slowly picked up momentum. Then, by 1982, they started to pick up some real traction, leading to the recording and release of their lone mini-LP, Thank Heaven!

Consisting of six tracks, the EP was released via PVC Records and is filled with a ton of interesting details. To start with, it was co-produced by Liam Sternberg (known for later composing the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian”) and Ed Stasium (known for his work with Ramones and Talking Heads). Rather cool, some may recall them as well for the aforementioned “Earthquake Song” being a part of 1983’s Valley Girl soundtrack; even though it was not in the actual film itself. Furthermore, the Little Girls spent plenty of time opening for the likes of the Pretenders, The Plimsouls, among others. So, what ever happened to them? Well, unfortunately they opted to part ways back in 1985 due to a lack of commercial success. However, this would not be the last anyone had heard of them; because they have reunited for shows numerous times, and even put some new music to tape over the decades here and there.

A truly fascinating story of a band that had a really solid sound that should have arguably been more popular than it was, now 40 years later the Little Girls have their history brought to the forefront with the new release called Valley Songs. A new compilation put out through Australian label Playback Records, Valley Songs is truly a great way to rediscover, or discover, the Little Girls music. Putting it out on CD back in early November of 2023, it is rather exciting to see, because honestly, physical format is the best way to enjoy music. This in mind, the CD includes a whopping 26 tracks and a lovely 28-page booklet which features rare photographs, words from the band themselves, plus a bio written by John M. Borack (author of Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide).

A really compelling study for a music fan, the booklet provides plenty of insight about the Little Girls all while you sit down and work your way through the compilation. As far as that goes, it includes everything the band has ever recorded; this encompasses the Thank Heaven! mini-LP, demos, reunion recording sessions, collaborations, plus never before released tracks. A lot to dig into, it is actually a very delightful listen that gives you a chance to uncover some really catchy tunes.

This all left for you to ponder, it seems unjust with the recognition of cuts like “Earthquake Song” or “How to Pick Up Girls,” to label the Little Girls a novelty band. Sure, they never attained the major success of other bands of the era, but once you give Valley Songs a listen, you will quickly learn there is much more to appreciate here. That is why it is wonderful to see a compilation such this be put together by reissue labels like Playback Records. After all, forgotten musical history is tragic, and it is almost guaranteed that if you appreciate any of the bands previously discussed here, you will find something within the Little Girls. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Valley Songs and the entire CD presentation 5 out of 5 stars.

Little Girls - Valley Songs
Little Girls – Valley Songs / Playback Records (2023)

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