In 2009, Anonymous Monk released the Little Warrior EP. Produced by long-time K Records engineer, Ben Hargett (Lake, Arrington de Dionyso), the album’s eight songs span the musical map – from reverb-drenched epics to tender folk ballads. Though many of the songs are serious in tone, the album has an almost playful feel due to the range of material and the instrumental interludes that give a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the recording process. The difference between the lo-fi folk of the album’s opener, “Red Spider, Red Star” and the sinister build and intense chanting of the next song, “The Fox,” is vast and this degree of dissimilarity, stylistically-speaking, holds true for each of the songs that follow. The album’s title track is the nexus that holds the EP together. A methodically woven folk song that builds into dizzying vocal rounds, it’s solidity providing a backbone for the entire collection of songs. Little Warrior gives the first signs of Murray experimenting and pushing the bounds of modern folk music.
“I kind of see Little Warrior, the just-released EP from Olympia folk artist Eleanor Murray, as the release that fans will one day search out (i’m thinking of releases like Modest Mouse’s Interstate 8 and Archers of Loaf’s Vs the Greatest of All Time). Though perhaps one of the most humble and down to earth people I know, Ms Murray is bound for greatness; anyone who sees her play live is, pretty instantly, a fan and last year’s For Cedar (her debut full length) was great from start to finish. Little Warrior is a little more off-the-cuff than For Cedar, though; not necessarily a cohesive album, but loose in the way I feel an EP like this should be. One thing I love about it: she gets weird for a song or two. “The Fox” is a haunting, reverb-drenched, bow screechy mini-epic and the interlude that follows it is a jammy organ thing. There’s more of her standard, minimal folk, there’s a big epic, and then there’s the title track. What starts as a fairly innocuous-sounding folk song builds into an intense hypnosis of rounds and harmonies that makes my mind run marvelous circles.” -Letters with Mixtapes
The band for Little Warrior includes Pamela Margon on violin, Ben Kamen on electric guitar, Austin Cooper on drums, Giselle Garcia with backing vocals on “little warrior”, Ben English on organ, Ben Hargett with bass on “the fox”, and Nick Botka with bass on “teach me”. Little Warrior was recorded by Ben Hargett at the Bargett Box in Olympia, WA.