Small Black

City: Brooklyn, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Alternative
Styles: Alternative Dance, Chillwave, Indie Pop, Indietronica, Metropopolis, Synthpop
Next Release

LP Small Black (Reissue) on March 31, 2023

on since October 10, 2020

Josh Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums) have been recording, writing, and often living together, throughout the life of Small Black, establishing a closeness that has allowed them to achieve easy creativity and find the smoky intersection of considered & vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience.

Formed in 2009 as a bedroom recording project, Small Black first made waves with their eponymous debut EP, recorded in the attic of singer Josh Kolenik’s uncle’s remote Long Island surfboard workshop. With its patchwork vintage synths and casiobeats, the breakthrough single "Despicable Dogs,” cemented them as pioneers of chillwave, the genre so omnipresent in the 2010s.

The project evolved into a fully-fledged touring act, consisting of Kolenik (vox/keys), Ryan Heyner (guitar/keys), Juan Pieczanski (bass/guitar), and Jeff Curtin (drums), and this live influence showed on their debut Jagjaguwar LP, 2010's New Chain. The loopy, weeded-out album found the band messing around with hip hop drums & samples, which they further explored on 2011's Moon Killer mixtape, collaborating with rapper Heems.

Pulling from the 80s pastiche of The Blue Nile & Talk Talk, SB upped their production chops, writing, recording & mixing 2013’s Limits of Desire themselves with the anthemic "No Stranger" & "Breathless" leading the way. 2015's Best Blues, highlighted by "Boys Life," followed further down this sophisti-pop path, adding more organics & a little goth energy to the mix.

2020 finds Small Black back in the game with a brand new label, 100% Electronica. New single "Tampa" harks back to the pop of Tears for Fears, through the lens of a Florida trip gone wrong. Working with mixer Nicolas Vernhes again, the band is hard at work on a new batch of material, set to arrive next year.


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