The two met when Laut posted a Craigslist ad for a bass player and Paton responded. Starting in 2014, they released music and toured together under the name Whiskey Autumn for seven years. The project dissolved in 2020, and they began writing songs, gearing up to release music as Little Trips.
Laut and Paton created a couple of demos in early 2020. But since it was going to be their first step into the music scene as Little Trips, they weren't willing to release an album without being able to support it with concerts, so they held off. Now, with the return of live music, they're ready to send songs out into the world.
"Orange and Foggy" was the first song the bandmates actually wrote together, and Laut says it "set the table for us to keep working on other records."
Laut wrote the first version, a slow ballad. Once he created a demo, he wanted to scrap it altogether, not liking how it sounded. But he sent it to Paton, and together they created a vibe for the song that they both liked. They realized how much they enjoyed collaborating, something they hadn't done much of before.
The phrase "Orange and Foggy" came to Laut when he was in Los Angeles, looking at a smoggy, sunny sky. He enjoyed the phrase and thought that it signified how people's memories are often foggy and clouded. "The song itself is about fragmented memories," he says. "We are unreliable narrators of our own histories."
The video for the song speaks to that message. A blurry, glitchy filter with vibrant colors obscures the image of Laut and Paton playing instruments throughout the piece. The two are creating videos for all eight songs on their upcoming record, Downhill to Paradise, enjoying the depth that visuals add to the songs.
The album will have a number of moody, indie anthems accompanied by a few more upbeat tunes that Laut says they wrote with the audience in mind. "On this record, we thought about how we can entice people to engage with us."
Laut and Paton love the energy of performing live, and they wanted to create a playable album that matched the experience.
The theme of Downhill to Paradise, Laut says, "is the idea that people are working their entire lives to reach some sort of destination." But the destination that they eventually reach comes mostly from life's struggles, and the songs on the album touch on those.
Those songs were inspired by the bandmates' experiences. They describe their debut as a passion project, noting there's no pressure to live up to past works or to create something creatively inauthentic just for the purpose of selling records.
"There’s no audience expecting things from you," Laut explains. "It’s a blank canvas you’re painting onto for the first time."
Little Trips plays at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at Globe Hall, 4483 Logan Street. Tickets are $15 and available at the Globe Hall website.