Hailing from Brooklyn, Small Black is a two-piece comprised of Josh Kolenik (vocals, etc.) and Ryan Heyner. Their self-titled EP – released October 19th – makes a nice bookend to 2009’s preponderance of eccentric electro-pop. It retains the bleached, summery shimmer of Washed Out’s Life of Leisure EP while incorporating some of the noisier elements of the SoCal no-fi scene (think Wavves/Crocodiles).
It would be easy to dismiss Small Black as a boring knock-off of bands that have already done this exact thing, and done it better, but that would be a mistake. There’s something else at play here – stronger vocals, a stronger pop sensibility than their counterparts. It will be interesting to see where this trend will end up even in the next year, and where the proverbial line in the sand between the originals and copiers will be drawn. Small Black could very well be the last ones into this party.