For Rehoboth Beach-based musicians Ryan Rosoff and Manuel Tejeda, the COVID-19 pandemic came at the worst possible time.
Their band Little King’s album, “Occam’s Foil,” which was released in November 2019, had begun to gain momentum: The album had appeared on the college radio charts; the band had been featured in numerous indie music publications; they had summer festival dates and club gigs booked; and the song “The Skin That I’m In” had garnered 70,000 plays on streaming app Spotify.
But all that was lost when the pandemic hit, as festivals were canceled, and people had to stay home to stop the spread of the virus. While the band hopes to tour again in 2021, Rosoff said the band was caught in a sort of limbo, as the songs on “Occam’s Foil” would be nearly two years old by the time they could play them to audiences.
Instead of dwelling on their bad fortune, though, the band went back to work. With a lot of time on his hands due to being sequestered inside, Rosoff, the band’s main songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and sole constant member through the band’s 20-plus-year career, began writing new material. Rosoff said there was a much different focus and enthusiasm this time around; he quit drinking seven months ago, and began exercising and eating a healthier diet, losing 30 pounds in the process.
When the songs were reasonably close to completion, he brought in Tejeda to flesh them out further through jam sessions.
Seven songs are now ready to go - Rosoff says he is still working on lyrics, but his process is to always do those last - and the duo is ready to head out to their recording home in El Paso, Texas, to lay down the tracks with drummer Eddy Garcia. Rosoff said he and Tejeda have had COVID-19 tests and were negative.
Rosoff said the new album will be called “Amuse De Q,” a reference to the idea of amusing yourself during quarantine. He said he and Tejeda plan to head to El Paso in August to record with the idea of releasing the record in January.
For Rosoff, this is a new chapter for Little King as this is the first time in the band’s history that he is recording with the same lineup for two straight albums; “Amuse De Q” will be the group’s sixth release. He used to live in El Paso, where he met Garcia, who has played with numerous El Paso-based metal bands, as well as serving as a touring drummer with veteran acts Ministry and Overkill.
Rosoff moved to Rehoboth six years ago, where he met Tejeda, who has played in bands around the Cape Region and as a solo artist under the name Manny Live. Rosoff said with the success of their last album, the band has something it has never had before: expectations.
“We had a lot of momentum from the last record, so we want to take advantage,” he said.
The music this time around will be more on the progressive side, with more complex songs than on “Occam’s Foil.” Tejeda said there will be some experimentation with funk grooves and atmosphere, with an attempt to balance heavy guitar rock with mellower material.
“We’re working hard to make it tight,” Tejeda said.
Rosoff said the record will also include two special guest performers: his daughter, Madeline, who will play bass on a song called “Set It Down,” and his son, Asher, who will play piano on a song. While he was a bit nervous about putting his kids on record, Rosoff said he is excited by their musicality and is looking forward to hearing them on the album.
For more information on the group, visit www.littlekingtunes.com or visit on Facebook.