Small Black
Limits of Desire
Street: 05.14
Small Black = Washed Out + Japan + Tears for Fears
In the supposedly genre-less world we live in, being pigeonholed into a nascent musical genre is probably the biggest challenge a 20-something Brooklynite will ever face. Enter Small Black. Tagged early as a chillwave act after their woozy, lo-fi masterpiece New Chain dropped in 2010, the Brooklyn group’s newest album, Limits of Desire, is a responding volley full of ridiculously smooth and classy synth-driven tracks fluent in the (new) new romantic language of crystalline guitar licks and prominent bass lines. Small Black’s songwriting favors Josh Hayden Kolenik’s breathy crooning by choosing nouns that stretch vowels to their breaking point in songs like “Canoe” and “Proper Spirit.” Limits of Desire, devoid of any rough edges or jarring sounds, is endlessly listenable and immediately addictive. –Ryan Hall