Welcome to Citay’s Little Kingdom. It’s an otherworldly place, full of psychedelic swirl, soaring harmonies and grandiose jams. Little Kingdom is the second album from San Francisco’s Citay. It’s an epic journey, and an album that sounds out of place in 2007 – a classic in the purest sense.
Like Citay’s 2006 self-titled debut, the ’70s rock sensibility is intact; Thin Lizzy, acoustic Led Zeppelin, Big Star and the Byrds all remain touchstones. But Little Kingdom moves further into ambitious composition, referencing Popul Vuh, Animals-era Pink Floyd, the Fripp-Eno collaborations, and early Mike Oldfield. The twin leads are still huge, the ballads still sweet, but Citay is reaching for more on Little Kingdom. Transcending retro-classic rock, these eight songs are intricate compositions in which texture is as important as melody, and every sound is precise.
Founded in 2004, Citay began as a studio project by Ezra Feinberg. Feinberg worked closely with renowned producer Tim Green (Comets On Fire, Sleater-Kinney, The Melvins) on the debut record, which was met with critical praise. Citay soon evolved into a full-fledged eight-piece band whose potency moved beyond the studio and into the live arena. They’ve toured with the likes of Vetiver, Howlin’ Rain, and The Fucking Champs and shared the stage with like-minded space travelers such as Six Organs of Admittance, Danava and Yo La Tengo.
Little Kingdom is lush and beautiful; a grand, epic work that harkens back to day when studio excess was encouraged and a premium was placed on composition. To borrow a line from Arthur’s review of Citay’s debut, “this is an album without a sell-by date, with a song for every season.” Little Kingdom is not just a great contemporary album; it is one that would have sounded great 30 years ago and will still sound magical decades from now.