We may not all share the same beliefs, but people are still more alike than different. No matter if you’re in San Diego or South Africa, living 10,000 years ago or today, we all look up to see the same sun and same moon. We are all connected in one way or another. This message of unity beats at the heart of Little Hurricane’s latest release, Same Sun Same Moon.
From day one, the narrative of Little Hurricane has echoed the tale of a momentous journey, whether it be on a mountaintop or a happenstance meeting on the internet.
Their story began in San Diego, where Little Hurricane formed. Having recently resumed playing drums after an eight-year hiatus, CC placed a musicians-wanted ad on Craigslist. Among the myriad of respondents was Tone, a studio engineer who’d worked with artists ranging from John Paul Jones to Gwen Stefani. The two musicians were neighbors who had never met, and bonded over mutual interests including the blues, unusual and vintage gear, and their individual experiences playing in high school jazz bands. A year later, Little Hurricane won three San Diego Music Awards, including Album of the Year for 2011 debut Homewrecker. Little Hurricane’s explosive live show soon landed them slots at major festivals including Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, and garnered media attention from outlets including Rolling Stone, which profiled them in an extensive behind-the-scenes piece at SXSW 2012.
Little Hurricane has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, both as a headliner and main support for artists including The Specials, Manchester Orchestra, and John Butler Trio. Television music supervisors also took a shine to Little Hurricane, featuring the duo’s songs on shows including Gossip Girl, Revenge, Mistresses, and ESPNs First Take. In addition, a quartet of Taco Bell TV commercials has showcased three Little Hurricane originals, as well as the pairs spirited cover of Starland Vocal Band’s 1976 U.S. chart-topper “Afternoon Delight.”
During the writing process of Little Hurricane’s third album, Same Sun Same Moon, Tone was overcome by a powerful force that guided him on a 28 mile barefoot journey that nearly took his life.
The duo had been writing and recording in their studio, built on ancient Native American lands in the mountains East of San Diego. One ominous mountain, at an elevation of over 3,400 feet of rocky terrain, called to Tone during the writing process.
“I kept hearing frequencies or vibrations that made it impossible for me to work on the album. For days, I had been unable to eat or sleep. Everything I saw seemed symbolic, and I found profound meaning in everything happening.” Tone goes on to explain: “Something called to me to go to the top of the mountain. I had no other response but to listen.”
He left without telling a soul and foregoing any food or water. In a trance like state, he felt the need to take off his shoes just as he set off on the rough and jagged trail. With plans for writing that day, CC was at the studio waiting for Tone to arrive, but he left no clues to where he was. “I figured he went for a short walk, but as the sun was beginning to set I started to panic. Then I noticed Tone’s camelback on the table. He always brings it along for water on hikes.”
By the time emergency services arrived, the sun had completely set. With temperatures dipping to the freezing point and limited visibility, the icy cold and rough terrain deterred police from being able to continue their search by foot. An Emergency Services helicopter was called in, but to no avail. The rocky trail and the cloak of darkness made it impossible to find Tone that night. CC had begun to organize a search party to set off at dawn. Unexpectedly, just before sunrise, Tone returned; 17 hours after he left.
“I just knew I had to get back to where I started, if I could make it home everything would be okay.”
The trek left him hospitalized with kidney failure, frostbite, and injuries so severe he was unable to walk for over a month. Several shows were canceled, and the album was put on hold.
Despite the suffering and distress, when they reflect on the experience, Little Hurricane gained far more than they lost that night.
“I learned a lot from that night. I would have never expected this to happen to me. This experience is very personal and it took me a while to be ready to share some of the details. However, I think it has such a central theme in the new album that it’s important to be open and honest about what really happened.” Tone recalls.
CC’s view is equally optimistic: “Tone’s vision quest made me more aware of the energy around us and more connected to him and the universe as a whole. It also made us realize how deeply in love we are and that we are so much more than just bandmates. We are soulmates.”
With so much history behind the band, their new record is a nod to it’s predecessors Homewrecker (2011) and Gold Fever (2014) while taking a resolute turn with its intention. These twelve new songs retain the honesty and immediacy of Little Hurricane’s earlier work; check out the gritty “Bad Business” (featured in PlayStation’s MLB The Show 16) and the driving instrumental ”March of the Living.” Yet they also incorporate new timbres and a broader emotional scope, changes that underscore the band’s desire to transcend its dirty blues roots and connect with a wider range of music lovers.
This evolution is especially evident on “OTL,” a love song woven from understated keyboards and intertwined vocals. Married in summer 2016, the creative partners elected to openly share their happiness with listeners for the first time.
To hear more about their journey, tune in to their latest album out April 14th via Mascot Label Group.