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Big Little Lions Mean Business

Big Little Lions Mean Business

With a name like Big Little Lions, you’d think this band’s sound would be folk-ish, or even a little poppy.  And you know what? You’d be right.

This “ferocious songwriting duo,” a phrase coined on their ReverbNation page that fits their essence better than anything I could have come up with, is no novice to the international music scene. In fact, half of the band calls Canada home, while the other half resides in Ohio. Despite the distance, Helen Austin and Paul Otten have figured out the formula to make award-worthy music. More importantly, they’ve figured out the formula to make good music. There’s a difference and Big Little Lions knows it.

Big Little Lions have won a handful of songwriting awards during their careers, both as a band and as individuals. From Canadian Folk Music awards to John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prizes, these two songbirds have found a home in the songwriting arena and are getting the recognition they deserve.

Outside creatives have fallen in love with Big Little Lions’ music as well, and have chosen to present it to the world via their own professions. Commercials, television shows, and movies alike have all featured the sweet tunes of Big Little Lions and there’s no telling who will take advantage of their infectious music next.

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“For ads… the writing is very fast so there is no time to overthink,” said Helen Austin.  “Writing for ourselves is a little more painful, as it is easy to overthink and not get it finished. I think we both prefer the quick turnaround.”

Words like “magical” and “whimsical” are scattered around the Internet when describing this band and let me tell you, these words are spot on. More so than I’ve ever felt. The band name, their music, their lyrics, and their overall vibe scream “mythical” and I am loving every second of it. Their latest release, Just Keep Moving, is a testament to the wondrous vibe given off by these talented Northerners.

I’ve been trying to write this piece for over an hour but their music, which is playing in my earphones right now, is distracting me in the best way possible. Their sound can described as folk pop, two genres that shouldn’t mix, and usually don’t, but somehow do this go around.

Compared to the likes of Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Big Little Lions is one of those bands who you think are making music on an world-famous-popstar level but are really one of the Northern US’s best kept secrets. Tracks like “Just Keep Moving” and “What If” will have you paying attention to more than just the beat. Big Little Lions is served best when you sit down, close your eyes, and let the sound envelope your senses. Yes, that’s dramatic, but as I sit at my desk, eyes closed and cares somewhere else, I can confidently say that this is the best way to get to know this fantastical folk pop duo.

If you live in Canada or Washington, you are in luck, my friends, because this experience is coming your way. If you live elsewhere, like I do, then we’ll have to not-so-patiently wait for a tour to bring them down South. Luckily for everyone, Big Little Lions has been calling their touring vehicle home for a while, traveling all around the Northern United States and Canada.

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“We don’t write on the road, or even in the same room,” said Austin.  “We started out writing via email and like it that way.  We just write as we go, or if we get a TV pitch or something, and when we have an album of songs we like we release it.”

There you have it, folks, the formula for making award-winning, good  music. It’s that simple.

“Our writing process is always the same. A mix of writing for the fun of it and writing to order for TV and film. That way we end up with diverse subject matters and there is a variety.”

It couldn’t hurt to sprinkle a lil’ fun in there too, according to Austin.

On a more serious note, keep your eye on the duo that is Big Little Lions because their roar is soon to be heard.

Check out where they’re going for now here.

Sheila Walsh graduated from USC Aiken in 2015 with a degree in English. While in school, she won an essay competition for an argumentative essay on why the arts are crucial to the education system. Additionally, she was recruited to play volleyball for USCA and contributed to a weekly journal discussing the life of a student-athlete. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

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