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Small Black – “Boys Life”

Brooklyn synthpoppers Small Black have just announced a new album, Best Blues, their first full-length since 2013’s excellent (and underrated) Limits Of Desire. As frontman Josh Kolenik explains to The New York Times’ T Magazine, lead single “Boys Life” was inspired by his experience cleaning out an old shed behind his father’s Long Island house… More »

By: Peter Helman / July 29, 2015 - 9:49 pm

Small Black – “Lines Of Latitude (Dave Harrington Remix)”

Guitarist Dave Harrington is Nicolas Jaar’s bandmate in the elegantly restrained electro-psych duo Darkside, and he may also be Jaar’s peer in creating woozily pretty minimal tick-tock remixes. Harrington has taken on “Lines Of Latitude,” a piece of dazed, lovesick synthpop from the Brooklyn band Small Black. The original appeared on the band’s Real PeopleMore »

By: Tom Breihan / May 5, 2014 - 4:39 pm

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Let’s take a moment for Dave Brockie, better known as Gwar’s Oderus Urungus, who died suddenly earlier this week. For decades, Brockie helped to pioneer a distinctly DIY music-video aesthetic. With no YouTube and no TV channels willing to play their videos, Gwar went full-on disgusting, turning every video into a mini-Evil Dead video and… More »

By: Tom Breihan / March 28, 2014 - 11:46 am

Small Black – “Real People” (Feat. Frankie Rose) Video

New York synthpoppers Small Black will release their new EP Real People next week, and the title track, like first single “Lines Of Latitude,” has backing vocals from fellow starry-eyed synthpopper Frankie Rose. The new “Real People” video, from director Nick Bentgen, doesn’t have any particular story, or at least it doesn’t have one that… More »

By: Tom Breihan / March 25, 2014 - 9:28 am

Small Black – “Lines Of Latitude” (Feat. Frankie Rose)

Last year, the Brooklyn synthpoppers Small Black released their album Limits Of Desire, one of the best and most underrated examples of giddy sunkissed New Order-style indie-bloop I’ve heard in recent years. The band will follow that album up with a new EP called Real People this spring, and its first single is “Lines Of… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 18, 2014 - 10:39 am

Frankie Rose – “Sorrow (Small Black Remix)”

Last month, the postpunk and garage-rock scene veteran Frankie Rose released Herein Wild, her third solo album and her second album of evocative, swirling new wave. And now, her fellow New York nostalgists Small Black have remixed her Herein Wild single “Sorrow,” building on its wafting beats and making it sound a whole lot more… More »

By: Tom Breihan / October 10, 2013 - 11:06 am

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

It’s not on this week’s list, but this might be a good place to acknowledge director Hannah Lux Davis’s video for the willfully ridiculous Mike Will Made It/Miley Cyrus/Wiz Khalifa/Juicy J single “23.” Michael Jordan is the most iconic and universally beloved athlete in my living memory, and here we have a video that reduce… More »

By: Tom Breihan / September 27, 2013 - 1:02 pm

Small Black – “Breathless” Video

New York synthpoppers Small Black released the very good and sort of overlooked album Limits Of Desire earlier this year, and now they’ve got a video for the dizzy jam “Breathless.” In less than four minutes, director Nick Bentgen finds room for bonfires, rodeos, amateur acrobatics, skate-park bottle-smashings, freeway-overpass smoke sessions, quarries, makeouts, fights, and… More »

By: Tom Breihan / September 25, 2013 - 3:54 pm

Stereogum Sessions: Small Black

Welcome to Stereogum Sessions, wherein we bring a video camera to the bands we love and document them in action. This episode is on location, in a basement belonging to Brooklyn’s Small Black, a band we’ve been locked on since their earlier iteration as Slowlands, and one that’s grown into a cinematic widescreen synth- and… More »

By: Amrit Singh / August 13, 2013 - 11:21 am

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Once again, the best piece of music-related video wasn’t a music video this week; it was this haunting performance from Neil Young and Willie Nelson, and we can thank CMT, of all possible cable networks, for its existence. (Jim James on Letterman was also pretty great.) Meanwhile, weirdo giants of the music-video field like NabilMore »

By: Tom Breihan / June 21, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Small Black – “No Stranger” Video

Last month, Brooklyn’s Small Black released Limits Of Desire, an absolutely lovely album of starstruck small-stakes synthpop. Today, they drop a video for “No Stranger,” one of its highlights. The clip tells the story of a dude who sees a girl on a train, thinks about talking to her, chickens out, and then imagines how… More »

By: Tom Breihan / June 18, 2013 - 2:45 pm

Stereogum Monthly Mix: May 2013

A few days late but stacked with excellence, here is your collection of May’s absolute jams. For optimal ease of consumption, you’ll find it here in three forms: a 12-track downloadable zip of the month’s best free MP3s, a 15-song Spotify playlist of May’s finest Spotify-enabled tracks, and to close it out, a 46-track Soundcloud… More »

By: Amrit Singh / June 7, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Stream Small Black Limits Of Desire

Limits Of Desire is the second band from the keyboard-happy Brooklyn indie-pop band Small Black, and it’s our latest example of an act that was once considered chillwave going lush and widescreen, breaking out of the borders of the vaguely imaginary genre that first brought it to prominence. The album is a total sleepy, pillowy,… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 6, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Small Black – “No Stranger”

Limits Of Desire, the new album from Brooklyn synthpop quintet Small Black, is packed with anthems of wistfulness that would’ve made New Order proud once upon a time. First single “Free At Dawn” was one, and its follow-up “No Stranger” is another. “No Stranger” is a warm and gooey song that’s still slick enough to… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 1, 2013 - 11:13 am

Small Black – “Free At Dawn” Video

The video for Small Black’s “Free At Dawn” pays tribute to Brooklyn by culling together a legion of images of different signage throughout the borough all shot on 16mm film. It was directed by previous collaborator Yoonah Park, who has also worked with Washed Out, Deerhoof, and Vampire Weekend and is inspired by experimental filmmaker… More »

By: Claire Lobenfeld / April 16, 2013 - 11:48 am

Q&A: Small Black 
Frontman Josh Kolenik On His Band’s New Album, Relationships, And Taming The Chillwave Dragon

The cover art for Small Black’s forthcoming sophomore album is a pretty clever indicator of what kind of subject matter the record has in store. The photo, created by Dutch artist Scarlett Hooft Graafland, features a naked man and woman attempting to embrace while perched on top of a ladder. Lurking in the void beneath… More »

By: T. Cole Rachel / April 2, 2013 - 12:20 pm

Small Black – “Free At Dawn”

During 2009, a handful of bands gained popularity through a form of simultaneously hazy and sunny synth pop — only to be cursed with an extremely dumb buzzword. Everyone knows this, but it’s been really fascinating to see (as we talked about recently) how bands like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Memory Tapes have reacted… More »

By: Miles Bowe / February 28, 2013 - 12:37 pm

Deconstructing: Memory Tapes And Life Beyond Chillwave

How does the word “chillwave” make you feel in the waning weeks of 2012? If it doesn’t make you say “huh?” it probably makes you say “ugh.” We all have a different tolerance for contrived trend genres — for some, the gag reflex is triggered the moment a buzzword is coined; others got so wasted… More »

By: Chris DeVille / December 3, 2012 - 4:38 pm

Mixtape Of The Week: Small Black Moon Killer

Rock bands with mixtapes: It’s almost too perfect of an idea, like rock bands with hypemen, and it’s amazing that it doesn’t happen more often. Actually, it pretty much never happens. Hypemen are rare, too, but there’s at least a historical precedent: Guys like the Happy Mondays’ Bez, Avail’s Beau Beau, and that one guy… More »

By: Tom Breihan / November 16, 2011 - 2:01 pm

Small Black – Moon Killer Mixtape

Previously on Stereogum, we’ve shared a couple of tracks from Brooklyn chillwavers Small Black’s new mixtape, the title track “Moon Killer” and “Two Rivers” featuring Das Racist’s Heems. Now, it being 11/11/11 and all, the Moon Killer is available for download. Nab it here or stream it after the jump. More »

By: Corban Goble / November 11, 2011 - 10:31 am
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