To a warm wall of enveloping fuzz, Brooklyn fourpiece Small Black pitch-bend their way through ‘New
Chain’, occasionally punctuating their Casio pop songs with ascending and descending bubbles of electronic
sound that go “woooeeee” as they burst, and, at one point, on the brilliantly nostalgic ‘Search Party’,
what may or may not be a Rick Astley sample.
Vocally, things are so breathy that they could be drowned out by a modest sigh, although the chances are that you won’t
be doing much of that, because you won’t be doing much of anything whilst listening to this. It’s a record
destined to be called ‘hazy’, ‘dreamy’ and ‘ethereal’, but more than that it’s hazardously mind-encroaching.
It should really come with a Don’t operate heavy machinery while listening sticker. Maybe, you’ll be able to manage a
kettle or toaster during the opening 80s prom-closer ‘Camouflage’, but I wouldn’t risk it. Just sit very still, try to keep breathing and ignore those who say that chill wave is a gateway drug.
“At that point I found that I started cancelling gigs, and I used to live for gigs, and when I met Faris I’d pretty much decided not to sing anymore.
We used to swap music – he gave me CAN and Neu! and at first I
hated it, I thought it sounded like health spa music, but now I love it.
I had a huge void of certain types of music and the void I had Faris knew everything about and it was vice-versa, so we exchanged lots of things and I
learnt so much.
What I listened to changed and once my tastes started changing so did the music I’d play, then Faris convinced me to sing again.
“The people who succeed in Classical Music have to do so much preparation,
they give up their lives to do it and I wasn’t prepared to do that. I never practiced, I would forget to go to concerts I was playing a major part in.”
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