Colin Dieden isn’t dispensing recycled rhymes in his new single as Little Hurt, “Alaska.” In this, Little Hurt’s fourth single, he’s going out of his way to make his homespun poetry the focus while staying true to the pop aesthetics that have made his first three songs as a solo player so interesting to listen to. “Alaska” is a simple, groove-laden number that wants us to take it easy this summer, and last time I checked, the very idea of such a request in 2020 was sounding all the more impossible with every passing day.


The music video has as much of a summery feel as the rhythm of the song does, and though I think it’s a little cosmetically rich, I don’t see any portion of it as overshadowing the soundtrack it was originally designed to support. Inventiveness is the cornerstone of all greatness, whether in the world of pop music or just in life itself, and while I like experimentalism in my beats every once in a while, I also can appreciate an artist like Little Hurt who isn’t trying to make every piece of music they record a statement about changing the industry – and its most profitable genres.

This arrangement is really the only truly avant-garde element in “Alaska,” but even its roughest of corners seems to fit in well with the narrative of the lyrics (and particularly the construction of the verses in general). Dieden’s vocal is always a consistent point of interest in the mix, and by giving the instrumentation a little bit of breathing room on the backend, Little Hurt circumvents any and all possibilities of sounding muddled or unfocused in this most recent work. Ambitiousness has led a lot of artists down a dark and dangerous road, but as of now, not this player.

As far as production quality is concerned, “Alaska” both as a music video and a single is a sterling document from top to bottom. Little Hurt didn’t just want us to absorb the surface components of this track – he set out for us to enjoy all of the miniscule details within the mix (and there are many), ultimately requiring him to take a much more meticulous approach to the creation of the song than the status quo would typically require. It’s all a part of his effort to be as original as he can, and in my opinion the labor was well worth the results.

In a year that has been missing inspired pop/rock of the independent variety, Little Hurt’s new single “Alaska” is quite the treat for melody-lovers around the globe. In my experience, when the mainstream is falling short on a regular basis, the underground is the place to go for a worthwhile response, and that’s proven true with a release like this one. Colin Dieden is still testing the waters with his solo act, but make no mistake about it – the next time he drops new music, I’m looking forward to reviewing it.

Garth Thomas