The four piece electro-pop group includes Josh Hayden Kolenik, Ryan Heyner, Juan Pieczanski and Jeff Curtin, but began as a twosome with only Kolenik and Heyner collaborating in Kolenik's Uncle Matt's attic in Long Island, New York. The pair spent the winter of 2008 recording songs with vintage keyboards and samplers. Pieczanski and Curtin came into the mix early on, adding production and songwriting.
Small Black has performed in a number of festivals including: Primavera Sound Festival, Foburg Music Festival and the SXSW Music Festival. They released two albums, "Limits of Desire," in 2013, and "New Chain," in 2010, along with an EP, "Small Black," also in 2010. Their latest EP, "Real People," was just released this year.
Their most accomplished album, "Limits of Desire," conveys the sound of luminaries Tears for Fears and the Blue Nile. The tracks "Free at Dawn" and "No Stranger" especially capture the familiar sound that Small Black fans have come to know and love. They're smart pop jalopies spattered with a detailed trademark of their melancholy sound slowly builds to a climax.
One of the songs performed here, from "Small Black," was a UK single. "Despicable Dogs," featuring Uncle Matt in the documentary-style music video, blends strange beats and laid back melodies into pop music.
Small Black's melancholy melodies and chill-wave sounds makes you want to lose yourself in their tracks from start to finish.
All photos by Kelsey McClure