"Cross My Heart," the debut track from new ANTI- signing Son Little, is a box of bonbons filled with barbed wire. Over a deceptively slinky groove - shades of 70's Marvin Gaye, Leon Ware - the singer croons, phrases emerging from the swelter, "sex and candy," "gonna get me some:" a lover's plea. But the angular blues guitar lick over the top of the track is clue to a deeper, older invocation, as Son Little's lyrics bear witness to two departed friends, and, inspired by Trayvon Martin, offer a meditation on the ease with which black lives are erased - even now, decades beyond the years when that smoky guitar line was invented. Son Little's voice soars like a young Stevie Wonder's as he testifies to his loss, and the "cross my heart" tag line reveals itself not as a lover's plea, but a defiant prayer to remember the lost.
Find Son Little on iTunes:
Cross My Heart (2013)