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Heartbreak can tear you apart. Its messy, post-idyllic rubbish is strewn throughout every room of your heart. Some compartmentalize their emotions afterward, slicing up the remaining shards into digestible chunks and then sweeping the residue underneath the proverbial threadbare rug. But in that burdensome period, holes in your throbbing organ can emerge. "If you walk away, you'll have a hole inside your heart, just like the one in mine you made," Kate Tucker, of sunny Nashville pop shakers Little Reader, swears on "Burn Eternal," the duo's brand new song (premiering today). The jaunty production is patently deceiving, forcing the listener to perch forward and dig into the storyline with concerned acuteness. "You know the phrase 'It was a messy breakup'? Well that's what hit me when [bandmate] Ross [Flournoy] brought the beginnings of [this song]," Tucker tells Popdust. "I'd been fantasizing about being a secret agent and maybe falling in love in my spare time, very 'La Femme Nikita,' the French version, of course."

"I didn't realize how violent the song might come off, but I think it's even stronger, metaphorically. Most all of us have experienced some kind of gut-wrenching sorrow over lost love -- why else would we have the word 'heartbreak,'" she says. Flournoy adds, detailing the song's lengthy history, "This is a song I had started eight or nine years ago but never finished. When Kate and I started writing together, I dusted it off and we finished it together. I love her singing on this one — especially all her harmonies on the choruses. We were going for an early 80s Pretenders kind of thing."

Much like The Pretenders' 1984 song "Back on the Chain Gang"--featuring an upbeat melody, a sampling of Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang" and gusting guitar (as a memorial to lead guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, who died from a drug overdose)--Little Reader utilizes polarizing emotions and ideas to hammer home heightened reality. "There was a time I'd kill for you, turn all the red to black and blue," Tucker later snarls, with utterly haunting harmonies and thudding, veiny percussion. "Shining like diamonds in the dust till all the iron turns to rust."

The sticky "Burn Eternal" samples Tucker and Flournoy's forthcoming debut album, The Big Score (out May 19). A chance meeting and a blind-date writing session birthed their "accidental love child," as Tucker puts it. Coming together with varied backgrounds--Flournoy's work includes with such bands as The Broken West and Apex Manor, while Tucker has worked extensively with film scoring and soundtracks, in addition to solo material--Little Reader have laboriously cemented their sun-bleached version of pop to great effect.

Tucker is also expected to drop her new solo record, Practical Sadness, later this year. - Jason Scott / PopDust


BURN ETERNAL - Ross Flournoy, Kate Tucker

Why does it always end this way
I stick around but you don’t stay

I caught your fireworks at dawn
I saw the signal carry on and on

If you’ve got something left to say
You know I do
I’m forever true to you

If you walk away
You’ll have a hole inside your heart
Just like one in mine you made
It won’t end in pain
Just with a hole inside your heart
You won’t be tearing me apart that way

There was a time I’d kill for you
Turn all the red to black and blue

Shining like diamonds in the dust
Till all the iron turns to rust

If you’re not coming back for more
And you won’t come to
There’s a shadow following you

If you walk away
You’ll have a hole inside your heart
Just like one in mine you made
It won’t end in pain
Just with a hole inside your heart
You won’t be tearing me apart that way

And when the bullet leaves the gun
I’ll know you’re on the side I’m on
And on, on and on
It’s not a love song

If you walk away
You’ll have a hole inside your heart
Just like one in mine you made
It won’t end in pain
Just with a hole inside your heart
You won’t be tearing me apart that way


from The Big Score (pre​-​release), released April 7, 2017

01 Speed of Light
02 Running Toward the Sun
03 Burn Eternal
04 Give It
05 Light as a Feather
06 Disappearing One
07 Love Lust Life
08 Strange Lightning
09 Best Regret
10 Here Forever
++ Point of No Return

Songs by Ross Flournoy (Rough Trade / BMI) and Kate Tucker (Rough Trade / ASCAP)
Except tracks 1, 5 - 7, and 9 by Ross Flournoy, Kate Tucker, and Mark Watrous (Rough Trade / BMI)

Produced and engineered by Mark Watrous at Strange Attraction in Nashville
Additional engineering by Dan Long on “Point of No Return” and “Give It”
Mixed by Dan Long at Headwest in Los Angeles

Kate Tucker - Vocals
Ross Flournoy - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys and Synths
Mark Watrous - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys and Synths, Percussion
Graham Bechler - Guitars, Drums, Percussion
Additional Percussion by Dan Long on “Point of No Return” and “Give It”

Rough Trade Publishing / AJ Tobey / aj@roughtradepublishing.com
Anhedonia Management / Chris Moon / chris@anhedoniamgmt.com
Fanatic Promotion / Josh Bloom / fanataicpro@gmail.com

Special thanks to Jaime Brian, Leona Watrous, Desmond Tutu, Courtney Little, Roger Moutenot, Patrick Carney, Bucky Baxter, Kingsley Brock, Cory Chisel, Adriel Denae, Nena Roy, Willow Scrivner, Kevin Wood, Shayan Asgharnia, Jessie English, Eric Feigenbaum, Chris Moon, Lyle Hysen, Lynn Gann, AJ Tobey, Jen Newcomer, Sarah Smith




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Little Reader Nashville, Tennessee

LITTLE READER is the accidental love child of Ross Flournoy and Kate Tucker, spun from one golden afternoon in the hills of Los Angeles where they met in a garden to write their first song. One thing led to another and soon after, Ross was on his way to Nashville, where Kate and her favorite studio mates welcomed him with open arms and lots of ¼ inch tape. THE BIG SCORE is out May 19. ... more

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