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Little Hurt Helps You Wile Away Some Lovely Hours

The former Mowglis frontman fuses happy sonics & sad lyrics on his sophomore LP.

Little Hurt spends some quality time with you on his new sophomore album Lovely Hours — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The alt-pop alter-ego of Colin Dieden, former lead singer of The Mowglis, Little Hurt has just released Lovely Hours on The Century Family Records. The 10-track album has been in the works for two years and includes the singles Buttercup (ft. The Ready Set), Cooler If U Did, Get Out Of My Life, Pineapple Pizza and See You Again.

Dieden says of the Lovely Hours LP: “I decided to name the album after the song of the same name because I felt like it perfectly encapsulated what I’ve been going through for the last few years. It rounded out what this record sounds like: Sonically happy — but with sad lyrics.”

Among the album’s standout tracks: The focus track for the album, I Can Do Better Than You, an uptempo, made-for-summer song that features an addictive synth line throughout, with crisp pop-punk guitars and a theme of defiant empowerment about moving on from a bad relationship. “I Can Do Better Than You was a really fun one to write,” Dieden says. “Sometimes writing songs feels like a regular job, but the upbeat energy flowed from the start.  There is something truly cathartic about just putting yourself into a song and letting it fly.”

Buttercup is a compact, clever little nugget of pristine pop-rock perfection and precision co-produced with old pal The Ready Set. The song offers a frank confession of romantic uncertainty and insecurity — set to a funky backbeat, pulsing guitars, colourful layers of sonic tomfoolery and the best whistled refrain this side of Peter, Bjorn and John. “I wrote Buttercup with my some of my best friends in the world,” says Dieden. “And it was one of those songs that I knew would be a single the second we finished the chorus. It hits everything I try to accomplish with the music I release: Telling a kinda sad story in a way that can make you smile, sort of like looking back at an old photo.”

Boasting a tight groove and a soaring, atmospheric chorus, Cooler If You Did cleverly and creatively blurs the line between indie-pop, alt-rock and R&B. Deftly blending thumpy drums, fuzzy guitars, a grinding bassline and noisy sonics with shimmering vocal harmonies, sweet strumming and even finger snaps, the track shouldn’t work but beautifully does — in contrast to Dieden’s lyrics about falling for someone even though you know it’s never going to work. If his tale rings true, well, that’s because it is.

Cooler If U Did was a song that was written after I went through a really difficult breakup,” he admits. “We rented a house in Venice Beach. It was a great, creative environment where we wrote a song together so I could get my mind off the situation. Cooler If U Did is an interesting song to me because I feel like it spans multiple genres. It’s an alternative rock song with pop sensibilities and R&B melodies scattered all over it, as well as moments in the post-chorus that have an edgier rock sound.”

Dieden has proven to be a prolific songwriter who has been pumping out hit after hit since he debuted as Little Hurt in 2019, amassing more than 33 million total audio streams to date. Better Drugs and Good As It Gets helped establish his solo career after spending nearly 10 years as lead singer of alternative stalwarts The Mowglis.

Little Hurt’s story actually starts at a dusty Kansas City sandlot during the ’90s, when he acquired the nickname Little Hurt as a nod to designated hitter Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist had all but forgotten his childhood nickname until he woke up from a deep sleep one night in 2019. Suddenly he felt a strong need to fulfil the name once more — not at home plate, but in the studio and on stage.

“It’s part of my past, so it felt right for the future,” he explains. “When I think about it, I can see, smell, and hear the Midwest in the summer. The memory was so visceral and clear. I knew it was cool, because I have so much attached to it. I was taking a step forward musically, but also looking back to a time before things got complicated. Of course, it’s a bit emotional too. I’m just a kid from Kansas who’s a little hurt.”

By 2019, that “kid” had come a long way from Kansas, fronting The Mowgli’s to international success upheld by more than 200 million cumulative streams, widespread critical acclaim, and sold-out shows far and wide. After nearly a decade, he desired to share himself like never before. Moving on with the blessing of his bandmates (and friends), Colin began writing for what would become Little Hurt in early 2019.

Photo by Ethan Redick.

“I wanted to tell a story that was entirely my own,” he explains. “There were things I needed to say by myself. I started writing about who I am and my life totally unfiltered. I’ve dealt with a lot of issues. I’ve got a complicated head and can be my own worst enemy. Anxiety is something I’ve battled forever, so I built a place to deal with these heavier subjects such as the struggle with depression. I’m not always the happy guy; but I’m happy opening up like I have here.”

Equally influenced by everything from Jack Kerouac to Louis the Child, CSNY to Major Lazer, as well as touchstones such as The National and The Smiths, he fashioned a dreamy and dynamic style rooted in ethereal production flourishes and candid lyricism on the line between alternative and pop. His 2021 debut album Every Second propelled Little Hurt as a solo artist, with hits Messed Up and My Head Hurts solidifying his bona fides as a songwriter. 2022 has been a busy one so far, with Dieden playing live again.

“When you hear this music, I want you to feel like you’re not the only crazy person in the world,” Colin leaves off. “It’s normal to go through anxiety and depression. I want to let everyone know they’re not alone. We’re all a little hurt, and it’s OK.”

Check out Lovely Hours below, listen to it on your preferred DSP HERE,watch some videos from the album above, and follow Little Hurt on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.


Photo by Kay Kay Blaisdell.