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Small Black’s third full length release, written and recorded at their Brooklyn home studio, nicknamed 222, showcasing a band still evolving and embracing the unpredictable.
After a year of recording the band enlisted mixer Nicholas Vernhes (War On Drugs, Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio to help complete the record.
‘Best Blues’ finds the band in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered and vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience. The addition of piano flourishes, trumpet (Darby Cicci of The Antlers), hidden acoustic guitars and Kaede Ford’s ethereal vocals provide new dimensions to the band’s already expansive sonic palette.
Cut-to-the-chase rippers ‘Back At Belle’s’ and ‘Checkpoints’ embody and build on the group’s signature gritty yet focused electronic sound. While more pastoral tracks such as ‘Between Leos’ and ‘XX Century’ - skeletally based on recorded improvisations - find the band painting a more nuanced, assured aural portrait. The repeating of the line “twentieth century” on closer ‘XX Century’ serves as a coda for the album, offering a simple summation of what ‘Best Blues’ intent has been from the opening Casio stab: an attempt to re-examine the past but also one to let it go.
“Another sparkling gem of widescreen, starry-eyed synthpop from a band who’ve been crafting such gems for years.” - Stereogum
No One Wants It To Happen To You
The Closer I Look
Big Ideas, Pt. 2
Back At Belle’s
Smoke Around The Bend