Small Black, “Best Blues”
Since the release of their first, self-titled EP in 2009, Small Black has experimented with a variety of genres—from basement indie-pop to straight-up hooky dance tunes—with varying degrees of success, but on their latest full-length, Best Blues, the Long Island quartet seems to have found solid footing. On the way to developing a new sound, the group doesn’t do away with the dazed synth melodies, driving beats, and ethereal vocals that have become the signature elements of their music. Instead, they assert authority over them. Small Black is still making dizzy electro-pop, but this time their tracks reach deeper, with heavier themes and better production. The group’s architectural layering of sound creates a textured journey, as each track builds upon the last and transitions into the next seamlessly. The record’s only downfall is a tendency to become slightly monotonous after a handful of tracks, but nevertheless, Best Blues proves itself to be a dynamic and cohesive LP.