This might be Little Wings' last album. Or at least that's what it seems we're supposed to think about the new double-LP by Kyle Field, the doe-voiced, traveling Californian whose first band included M. Ward, who once played in The Microphones and whose most beloved song lent its name to a Feist film, Look at What the Light Did Now. LAST comes out February 5th on Field's own Rad imprint, packaged with a giant, illustrated poster that he drew. (His visual art is its own full-fledged endeavor, showing in galleries in San Francisco, Tokyo and Paris.) Stream the whole thing below, and pay close attention to standouts "Neptune's Next" and "Somebody Loves Me," then read an interview about the making of the album, the moon landing and why, in a roundabout way, Little Wings is a bit like Stanley Kubrick.
Stream: Little Wings' LAST LP
Where are you right now? I'm at Zuma Beach, which is at the north end of Malibu. Walking. I'm going to try and go surfing if I can find the right waves. I just came to check on the ocean and have this talk with you. The phone doesn't work too good where we live.
You've sort of settled in LA now, is that right? Well, I moved again. I moved back a lot in a way. So I moved down south where I kind of grew up, but I moved back to Southern California. I didn't expect to ever move back here and I didn't expect to ever enjoy being down here, but it really struck me this summer when I came back, and it felt like I was kind of home or something, you know? It's kind of in the way that you want to leave your town—maybe some people never leave, and that's a different thing—but when you really can't wait to leave your town and you can't imagine ever wanting to be there again, but there's actually something actually comforting to me this time around about walking around the same place I have been for a long time during different periods of my life. I think enough time has passed.
So the album title provokes this question: Is LAST the last we'll hear from Little Wings? It's kind of hard to answer without giving it away. It's just the title of a record, and if it brings about the idea that it's the last album then maybe that's the intention, to listen to it as if it is. So, kind of… There's probably a lot of subliminal things in there. I think in the way that I make songs, the meanings come out later and it's more of an emotion or a feeling, you know? Using different themes to kind of express that color of feeling. In stories, sometimes the moral or the truth of the story doesn't become apparent to me till after. I think it's like an abstract projection on a projection screen, where—I'm not very good at explaining what I think about it. I think the music does its thing on its own, and when I try to explain it, it's hard, because the original is just pure feeling.
How is this record different from the others you've made? It's longer. There are more songs and I played all the instruments. which I've kind of never done. I think it might go to a few more exposed places of embarrassment or something than other records, and to more places of being a little more brutal or something. More extremes. But for me it feels in a way like the most complete record I've made. My original plan, to be honest, was to make a greatest hits/new record combination, where there were covers of old rarities in the context of a new album, and this is kind of an abridged or capsulized version of that, but with the same heart to it, I think. For it to be kind of filmic, like a western or something, to where there's a sense—as cliche as it sounds—of a sunset at the end, in the real way.
How are you spending your days now that it's done? I've been really kind of about Stanley Kubrick this fall and I got to go see the LACMA exhibit with all of these artifacts and stuff from his movies. Last night, we were watching this film—it was BBC style but it definitely wasn't BBC. I don't know if you've heard about him being involved in photographing the moon landing, shooting the footage? It's like a conspiracy theory that I heard that the moon landing was fake, and this film purports that there's three different things that could have happened: that we never went to the moon, that we did go to the moon, and that we did but we couldn't capture any footage. So basically this film says that all the actual film was unusable, so they recreated it in Stanley Kubrick's studio that he used for filming 2001. It was really amazing. There's interviews with Donald Rumsfeld and Kubrick's wife and pretty crazy conspiracies, but this film with all the witnesses in it almost makes it seem completely true.
Are you inclined to believe that story? Yeah, and it kind of makes him a greater artist to me, because like, he never really explained his films and everything was so embedded in him because it wasn't discovered till 20 years later, what he's talking about. And there just seemed to be all these hidden clues over the course of the films to indicate that he was involved with the moon landing—the shoes in The Shining, for example. He was kind of using his films to tell what happened. It's crazy stuff. And then I was reading up on interviews with him, and he did not like interviews except for that they would hopefully raise awareness so that someone would see the film, which is kind of sometimes how a bunch of people who make albums feel. It's hard to be put on the spot to talk about it, and he wasn't really good at answering the questions, although every interview I read I thought was amazing. But he claims to not be able to think on his toes that way. I don't know, I started thinking about the way I thought of my musical life, and it feels almost like I'm making movies, like each album was filmic to me, 'cause there's stories and characters and stuff. In a way, I don't feel like a band and I don't feel like going around playing the songs live all the time. I feel like the songs are created in this place to experience them, and I could relate to that.