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Small Black


[Jagjaguwar; 2010]

By ; November 18, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Small Black have a bit of a disparity going on. Their sound has a volatile/chillwave element to it, but their drowsy aesthetic makes it sound more like they’re trying to lull you to bed instead of blow out your inner ear. While these underlying tendencies duke it out, the band seem content with throwing in a little bit of everything.

“Photojournalist,” a mid-tempo cut from their debut LP sounds like it was carefully fashioned and then tossed into a blender. It’s an odd creature that drags its feet on its way into your head, then bounces around recklessly. The band experiments with a such range of effects you feel like the song could change direction at any time. Sounds are stacked one on top of the other to an almost overwhelming degree. Playful, whistling synths are joined by jumbled drum loops as Josh Kolenik’s murky vocals –punctuated by shallow gulps of air– peer at you through the weirdness. It’s the sound of a band figuring out exactly what they want to be, and having a great time doing it.

MP3: Small Black – “Photojournalist”

[From Small Black’s debut album New Chain, out now]


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