‘A Million Easy Payments’: Toronto’s Little Kid Capture Life’s Weight, Warmth, & Wonder With Their Breathtaking 7th Album

A Million Easy Payments - Little Kid
A Million Easy Payments - Little Kid
A gentle giant of dreamy indie folk sound, Little Kid’s achingly beautiful seventh album ‘A Million Easy Payments’ is a breathtaking, soul-searching triumph: Eight tender songs capture the weight and warmth of life itself as the Toronto band unpack (and find meaning in) the totality of the human experience.
for fans of Blind Pilot, Wilco, Big Thief, Iron & Wine
Stream: “Somewhere in Between” – Little Kid




tucked away from the road, far from all that commotion
no more sirens at night, just the wind in the pine trees
and the moon on the lake and the droning cicadas
but on my quietest night, that’s when my memories find me
all the words that i said, words i later regretted
and the love that we made, and the love that i wasted
see my dad in his chair and the soil where he’s buried
and the men that i trust and the room where they touch me
qualifies as silence, the closest i can find
– “What Qualifies as Silence,” Little Kid

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It’s a testament to Little Kid’s combined talents that their seventh album feels at once intimate and expansive, urgent and soothing.

Life itself doesn’t compartmentalize emotions or experiences, and neither does the Toronto band, whose heartfelt, achingly vulnerable music aches with the beauty, the wonder, and the intensity of being alive and navigating this whole wide world through one body, one mind, and one spirit.

A gentle giant of dreamy indie folk sound, A Million Easy Payments is a breathtaking, soul-searching triumph channeling the highs, lows, ins, and outs of the human spirit. It’s unfiltered, candid, honest, and uncompromising: In eight soul-stirring songs, Little Kid capture the weight and warmth of life itself, soaking up what it means to feel the full spectrum of feeling, simultaneously figuring out who we are and how we fit in with everyone and everything around us.

A Million Easy Payments - Little Kid
A Million Easy Payments – Little Kid
finally getting light out
see the sun as it cuts through the trees
been up for a while now
but you left me in bed, still asleep
the little bit of kindness
in my heart’s getting harder to see
you said “i wouldn’t mind it
if you kept a percentage for me”
but now you’re driving
bit above the limit on the highway
cigarette but nothing there to light it
a song came on the radio that made you feel
like you haven’t felt in years
and now you’re crying
cause every time you hear it you’re reminded
of a younger love but now you’re undecided
if it’s a piece of trash or a masterpiece
probably somewhere in between
– “Somewhere in Between,” Little Kid

Released February 23, 2024 via Orindal Records, A Million Easy Payments is a deep cathartic exhale. Arriving four long years after Little Kid’s acclaimed 2020 album Transfiguration Highway (which Atwood Magazine hailed as a “moving journey through self-discovery and spiritual awakening that radiates light, depth, and understanding”), the band’s spellbinding seventh LP finds them once again distilling the human experience into moments of movement and stillness, inward connection and understanding.

Forever figuring out who they are and where they belong, Little Kid’s Kenny Boothby (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Brodie Germain (drums, guitar), Paul Vroom (bass), Megan Lunn (vocals, banjo, keyboard), and Liam Cole (drums, percussion) have been picking life apart piece by piece, song by song for well over a decade, finding meaning in its highs, in its lows, and in the spaces in-between. Written in bits and spurts over the past four years, the songs on their latest album, all written by singer and songwriter Kenny Boothby, seem to simultaneously zoom in and out of his own individual experience, freeze-framing on snapshots filled with emotion while capturing bigger picture reflections on where he is, where he’s been, and where he might like to be. Thus while the stories are inevitably his own, their messages are undeniably universal.

Little Kid © Aisha Ghali
Little Kid © Aisha Ghali



LITTLE KID DIVE INTO THE DEPTHS OF THEIR SPELLBINDING ‘TRANSFIGURATION HIGHWAY’

:: FEATURE ::

A Million Easy Payments is Little Kid’s seventh album, and it’s the one that took us the longest to finish. Our previous three albums were each written and recorded over the span of about a year, and when we started recording this one in 2019, we had plans to keep up that pace,” Boothby tells Atwood Magazine.

“Of course, the pandemic came along a few months later and led to a lot of changes in our lives: financially, geographically, philosophically… Out of necessity, the album ended up being recorded and written in short bursts, often several months apart, for the next three-and-a-half years. The resulting album is one of our most eclectic, with songs that take influence from more far-reaching sources, recorded in varying styles, circumstances, and fidelities.”

“Yet, the album feels unified. The title A Million Easy Payments isn’t directly related to any particular song but it feels connected to all of them. The repetition in a lot of these song structures might resemble the mundanity and helplessness of seemingly infinite, regular payments. There’s a certain exhausted despair, mixed with a bit of humour. Some of these songs get more personal than ever, while some of them contain the most ridiculous jokes I’ve managed to work into my writing. The best ones have a bit of both.”

in occupied Palestine
near the birth site of Christ
caught some footage that you wouldn’t believe
that night on Channel 7
ran a slanted segment
through the midwest on the mid-Middle East
but you’ve told me how
you keep your volume down
cause all that’s coming from your humming TV
is bad energy
– “Bad Energy,” Little Kid
Little Kid © Aisha Ghali
Little Kid © Aisha Ghali



Little Kid © Aisha Ghali
Little Kid © Aisha Ghali



Maybe it’s because it took so long to finish, or maybe it’s because it’s our best work yet, but I feel especially excited to finally share this album.

The more we listen to A Million Easy Payments, the deeper we fall in love with its tender, intimate touch.

From the sweet jangle of banjos on the anxiety and paranoia-driven opener “Something to Say” and the emotive, percussive builds on the gently smoldering “Bad Energy,” to the soft weight and wise words of “Always Change,” the shiver-inducing fragility and bittersweet glow of “Eggshell,” and the invigorating passion and angst driving the album’s cinematic standout “Somewhere in Between” (a surefire alternative hit in the making), Little Kid take their audience on a journey of limitless returns – one that aches, stirs, uplifts, and inspires throughout its 44-minute run.

limits of the rivers
sideways-sliding to the south
rounding out the boundary of the plain
darkening the carpet
at the far end of the house
summer spurred a seizure in my brain
ambulances came
weaving a whinin’ siren down the highway
leaving a smilin’ silence in your life, babe
and even your sharin’-cherry-cola mind
fragile as an eggshell… eggshell
– “Eggshell,” Little Kid

By the time their ten-minute finale “What Qualifies as Silence” breathes its last breath and comes to a cathartic close (on an unsettling, purposeful off-beat, no less), we feel not just closer to Kenny Boothby and Little Kid, but also closer to ourselves – moved to reexamine who we are and where we fit in the world, just as the band have done, to varying degrees, in each of these eight songs.

Little Kid © Aisha Ghali
Little Kid © Aisha Ghali



Whether you’re a fan of soul-baring songwriting, of warm and wondrous indie folk, or some combination of the two, it’s time to hop on Little Kid’s train.

They may have been one of Toronto’s “hidden gems” for the past decade, but with this latest addition to their already-impressive arsenal of songs, timing is running out before they blow up and their songs get the audience they’ve long deserved.

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Little Kid’s A Million Easy Payments with Atwood Magazine as Kenny Boothby takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of the band’s stunning seventh album!

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:: stream/purchase A Million Easy Payments here ::
:: connect with Little Kid here ::
Stream: ‘A Million Easy Payments’ – Little Kid



:: Inside A Million Easy Payments ::

A Million Easy Payments - Little Kid

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Something to Say

“Something to Say” is essentially about worrying about what other people might think of you, or things they might say about you when you’re not around. It’s also about how smoking weed can make those anxieties even worse.
This was the first song we recorded, way back in November 2019. Brodie was living in the UK at the time but came home for a few weeks, so we played a few shows with him and decided we should also try to get started on a new album (even though Transfiguration wasn’t out yet). Knowing we had some studio time aside, I wrote this one quickly in the days leading up to the session and sent a demo to the band. When we got together to record, it came together quickly: The version on the album is our very first take. We added a few overdubs (piano and electric guitar) but the vocals and the primary instruments were from that first run-through. It felt fitting to start the album with the first song we played together during the recording process.

Bad Energy

Each verse of this song focuses on a different type of “bad energy.” I used the song as a way to link the version of Christianity that I grew up in, and that I see enmeshed in our politics and culture in North America, to a lot of the most awful things going on in our world.
We first tried recording this song in the summer of 2021 at the Sugar Shack (a studio in London, ON), with two drum sets in the live room. It’s funny we ended up doing that because the one thing I was saying to the band leading up to the recording session is that we had to make sure the song didn’t get too “big”… I wanted it to stay a little slinky and spidery. The version we recorded that day got absolutely huge… It had a, like, “Born In The USA” bombast to it. We felt good about it in the room, but as soon as I heard the recording I knew we had to try it again.
The version we kept for the album started with a much more subdued live take, recorded in an hourly rental rehearsal studio in Toronto in the spring of 2022. We tracked it with drums, bass, and guitar, but only kept the drums. The rest was built up over several months of overdubs: some recorded at our homes and some recorded at a rented Airbnb in summer 2022. We gave Paul a lot of tracks that he had to wade through. Eventually, Brodie, Paul, and Kenny got together for a day to chop it up and arrive at a final arrangement and mix.

Beside Myself

This one is about a time I felt jealous in my relationship and was surprised at my reaction… As someone who has spent a lot of time in therapy unpacking the ways my socialization as an AMAB person affects my attitudes, behaviours, etc., I guess I was like: “Where is this coming from? What’s this still doing here?”… There was an anger and sort of layer of aggression that really surprised me.
I got thinking about the term “beside myself”: when we are most upset, maybe we have an opportunity to look at ourselves from a different direction. I felt like that experience, as negative as it was, gave me a chance to look at some stuff going on inside me that I might not have noticed otherwise (even if it wasn’t very nice to look at). So I used that as a springboard to write a bit of a silly song about coming across a duplicate of yourself (and in the song, I guess my double and I spend some time feeling jealous and angry together).
We mostly wrote and developed the instrumental for this one in the studio – way back in fall 2019. I had the main chord progression and melody but Paul, Brodie, and I jammed on it till we found an arrangement that felt good. We recorded it live with me singing nonsense lyrics over it (which has become a common practice in recent years, when we have recording time booked but I haven’t quite finished enough songs).
The reaction in the band was mixed. Liam hated the intro and said it reminded him of Jack Johnson. To be fair, it does sound like Jack Johnson. When we were recording it, we found it funny and fun to play, and we wanted to lean into it. We pretty quickly got talking about asking Seth Engel to play some bongos on it, too. Seth is my friend from Chicago who plays in a bunch of bands and records a bunch of albums. He was on a kick in 2020 where he wanted to have more credits for bongos than any other instrument, and we wanted to help him towards that goal (but we took too long to finish the album to really help him out, unfortunately).
It took me quite a while to find some lyrics for the song. I think it was summer 2020 when I finally cracked it and went in to record vocals in a socially-distanced session with Paul. Once we had the lyrics in place, it seemed to inform the arrangement and we decided to throw some wild shit in there. Anh Phung plays in a bunch of bands in Toronto. We met her when we played a show with Omhouse and her flute playing blew us away. We talked about building the instrumental section up into something really chaotic, and talked about Radiohead’s “The National Anthem” as a reference point. We asked Anh to add some layers of improvisation, knowing her experience in a Jethro Tull cover band would prepare her well.

Always Change

One of the most beautiful things about the universe, for me, is the way things can look similar zoomed way in or zoomed way out. Like looking at a seemingly infinite number of stars above you and feeling seemingly infinite pieces of sand under your feet… Or graphs of functions that approach infinity in one direction and zero in the other direction. Somehow this song feels like it’s about that feeling… And I guess there’s that old saying, “the only constant in life is change,” and that’s basically what this song is about: There can be a bit of reassurance in knowing things have always been this way and will continue to be. Sinusoidal functions are a nice touchpoint, too (and I guess I allude to them a bit with the radio waves, etc.); those functions are infinitely changing.
This one I wrote in late 2020 and sent a demo to the band. It wasn’t until the next summer that Paul, Liam, and I were able to gather and work on it, and I remember it was still pre-vaccine and maybe even before rapid tests were widely available, so we all kept our number of close contacts super low in the weeks leading up to it so we could be in a room together. Weird times.
We did this one live with classical guitar, bass, and drums, but I remember it took a lot of takes to get it finished. Recording to tape can be stressful and we got into our heads a little bit too much. Eventually, we recorded a take that felt good enough to keep. We added some extra percussion, a second vocal, and more layers of classical guitar that day, but it took us over a year to finish the rest of the arrangement. We initially wanted to keep it super stripped back, but Brodie sent over some electric guitar parts and advocated for making the different sections of the song a lot more distinct from each other. Eliza Niemi (my friend and perhaps the best songwriter in Toronto, as well as an incredible all-around musician) provided some cello drones for us remotely, and this was one of the first times we collaborated with her.

Eggshell

This is a slightly fictionalized retelling of my parents’ relationship, from the perspective of my dad, who passed away when I was nine. I changed up a lot of details, but the overall story is true. Now that I have passed the age my parents were when they got married and started raising me and my siblings, and I’ve found a deeper kind of love in these past few years with my partner, my parents’ story has meant more to me, and felt more tragic in a way I couldn’t conceive of as a kid. This song was a way of trying to capture some of those feelings while challenging myself as a writer a bit.
I demoed this one in the summer of 2021. I remember Brodie and I had plans to meet for dinner that day and I texted him in the afternoon about pushing it back by an hour so I’d have time to finish up the demo. I think we were under the impression we were done writing the album at that time, so I wasn’t sure what this song would be used for… But it stuck around and we kept talking about it, and it made its way onto the tracklist. We decided to keep the demo version rather than try to improve on it somehow. It felt like it would work best in this form, even though it’s a little rough around the edges.

Somewhere in Between

In early 2022, I bought myself a new acoustic guitar as a way to celebrate finally getting my first permanent teaching contract. I wasn’t planning on buying one right away, but I saw this 1963 Gibson LG-0 for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and after trying it out, I convinced myself to go for it and treat myself. Till then, I’d only had pretty awful acoustic guitars, and it was really exciting playing something that felt like it had some history and actually had decent intonation and action. This was the first song I wrote on the new guitar, after putting it into a bit of a wonky tuning. The G and B strings were both tuned to A, which adds a bit of a drone to the guitar part, sorta reminiscent of a 12-string guitar (but it’s very stressful bringing the G string up to an A…).
I spent a lot of time writing these lyrics, but I finished it all in one super long (maybe 6 or 7 hours?) sitting. After having so much fun with the dense rhyme scheme on “Bad Energy,” I felt like I could only be satisfied if I snuck as many internal rhymes as possible into this one, too. I wrote a lot of verses before a story started to take shape, but I ended up cutting a lot of them. I remember singing the line “somewhere in between” at the end of the chorus at some point and realizing that was a way I could tie it all together – a good lyrical device to build all of the choruses around. After that, the writing happened a lot quicker.
I suppose the lyrics depict a person leaving an unhappy or possibly abusive relationship, written from the perspective of the person being left. Some of the other songs on the album deal in extremes or binaries, but this song felt important as a way of pointing out the way things might fall along a spectrum or even sometimes be two different things at once.
At the time, we were pretty sure the album was finished other than some overdubs / tinkering, but I sent the demo to the band and we decided to record it and see if it made sense to include on the final tracklist. We got together to record a studio version a couple of months later, and the arrangement came together quickly, with Brodie on drums and Paul on bass (kind of the “classic” Little Kid lineup). We were talking about 90s alt rock and adult contemporary stuff, and wanted to lean into it and make a pretty pop-forward track, but add some layers of weirdness to it, too. We did some wacky stuff with the Casio SK-1, and I enjoyed adding some counter melodies with my voice in the final choruses, too.

Nothing at All

In this song, saying something is “nothing at all” is a way of downplaying its importance, and it’s used in a few different contexts. The first verse is about living with financial instability and having car troubles, but shrugging it off as something that will go away on its own. The second one is in the context of a relationship – noticing something different in your partner’s vibe, which they dismiss as something that will go away on its own. The last one is about memories that stick with you even though they are seemingly insignificant – something you’d think was nothing at all and should have disappeared from your mind by now, but are still kicking around for some reason.
Little Kid has traditionally been an anti-metronome band. We like the feel of a live take that speeds up or slows down when the spirit compels us to do so. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play this one effectively without a metronome. We really liked leaving lots of open space in between the phrases and didn’t want to make Liam have to count us back in each time or keep time with rim shots etc… So we succumbed to the metronome.
This one was fun because we were at the Sugar Shack and it was one of the first times we’ve recorded in more of a “proper” “studio”… We were expecting a piano and were planning to record with me playing the song on it, but were surprised to find out the studio had rented it out to someone that weekend. But there was a Wurlitzer and a pedal steel, so we decided to try an arrangement with those, even though I had never played a Wurlitzer and Brodie had never played pedal steel (admittedly he was given a task with a much steeper learning curve). The apprehension involved with playing an unfamiliar instrument seemed to help the song in a way – it’s a song that needs some patience and care and space to breathe.

What Qualifies as Silence

This one’s about three different ways it can be hard to find complete silence. The first verse lists a bunch of city noises that literally interrupt our silence when we live in these busy places. The second one talks about tinnitus, and playing fast and loose with your hearing as a young musician. The third verse is about trauma and the way certain experiences from your past might come up when you have a rare quiet moment and would rather be thinking about something else.
This was one of the two songs I came into the studio with in November 2019 when we started recording. I may have written it the night before, or maybe two days before, the session, so my bandmates didn’t have too much time to get acquainted with it, and we spent an hour or so learning it as a band, playing in the room together. I think we played it once through entirely and decided we should start recording. Somehow, the first take was the keeper, just like with “Something to Say” – but a lot more surprising in this instance because it was such a long song. I was really impressed with my bandmates that day.
The skeleton of the song was in place, but we added a few overdubs to give each verse a more distinct flavour. We kept the first verse minimal (you basically just hear what was played in the room, plus a second Kenny vocal). Eliza Niemi joined us on the second verse, and we added in some SK-1 drones for one section. Peter Gill (from Friendship and 2nd Grade) added some lap steel to the final verse, which he recorded to a four-track because he didn’t have access to any other equipment during the first lockdown. In the final chorus, both Eliza and Peter join in. What an honour to have those incredible musicians close out the album with us.

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:: stream/purchase A Million Easy Payments here ::
:: connect with Little Kid here ::

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A Million Easy Payments - Little Kid

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? © Aisha Ghali
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