Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Track Review: Small Black - "No Stranger"

Small Black are a Brooklyn four piece signed to fantastic independent record label Jagjaguwar. They released their debut album New Chain in 2010; it was released at a perfect time. The Balam Acab's, Neon Indian's and Panda Bear's were releasing new music, so Small Black managed to fit nicely under the genre bracket that somehow offends them, chillwave. It's like a Sex Pistols influenced act saying they're not post-punk, get over it. It may be a falsely applied genre to some, but the grouping of artists fit the characteristics. Chillwave goes hand in hand with post-punk revival as somewhat nonsense labels, but you know the post-punk revival bands, and you know the chillwave bands. It's not a negative, the modern day synthpop artists don't sound like Duran Duran. All labels aside, Small Black play fantastic fuzzy electronic music with a dream pop edge. They're in the same category as Wild Nothing in terms of musical creation. The Brooklyn electronic / dream pop quartet will release their sophomore album later this month. It's called Limits of Desire as you may notice from the cover above. A strange naturalistic cover featuring a step ladder an alligator and, oh yeah, two naked humans hugging.

"No Stranger" features a charismatic electronic drum patter inspired from the new wave bands of the late 70s early 80s and the synth pop / dance troops of the pop scene in these decades. It's a single that captures the nostalgic elements of synth pop, bringing to light the summer, shoegaze feels that await the Brooklyn quartet. There are reverberated synthesizers that follow a similar pattern to Wild Nothing's "Paradise", with less menace and more soothing. The effects of an Animal Collective electro pop generation can be heard on today's New York City scene and Small Black follow on this trend of deep synthesizers with danceable beats for the fun lovin' city dwellers and beyond. Taking "No Stranger" as the ball point, Limits of Desire will be a standout summer album.

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