Sean: Yeah, Mike and I moved out from Jersey and New York to L.A. We spent the first year and a half kind of confused, working crappy jobs and finding as much time as possible between all that crap to write and start something. It got to a point where we were writing songs for other artists, and realized we were sick of it so we decided to start our own band.
Mike: Yeah, we decided that we would start this band, which was what we originally moved out [to L.A.] to do, but it just wasn’t happening between juggling work and friends. We actually met Joe maybe six months prior, and asked if he would consider starting a band with us. So we booked some recording time in Atlanta, even though we didn’t have any songs yet, just to make sure that we did it. Then right before we left, Joe mentioned that Beau had just moved to town from Oregon. He was working at a snowboard/apparel company, and luckily we clicked, plus he was willing to moved to Atlanta with us.
Your hipster friend can’t tell you that they knew of them before all the hype, because the hype began as soon as they formed. Smallpools isn’t even a year old, and their first song hasn’t even been out for HALF a year.
RCA Records recently signed them in the late spring, after their first single Dreaminglaunched to huge popularity in May. The single, which is often described to have a Passion Pit type sound, was produced by the popular Captain Cuts of GROUPLOVE fame, and hit the radio airwaves quickly. Dreaming even reached the number 23 spot on the Billboard Alternative chart. Neon Gold said of the single,
“Dreaming is alt radio gold with extreme crossover potential, the kind of song that only comes along a few times a year, and rarely on a debut single.”
Having such a popular debut single on the radio, the band was signed to RCA quickly, with the release of a Captain Cuts produced EP to be released shortly on July 16th. Each of the four songs on their self-titled EP could be a single themselves, as they are perfectly crafted and infectiously addicting in sound.
Dreaming speaks for itself on the EP, with its instant popularity and recognition. Smallpools describes the song as:
“In contrast to the upbeat vibe of the music, the song talks about a moment where everything goes wrong in a situation where you thought you had it all figured out. A moment we’ve all experienced to some degree, but most often if we’re lucky, in a dream where we get to wake up in a sweat and say, “Phewf, ok, that wasn’t real.” “
Their next single, Mason Jar, was released on the day that they announced their signing with RCA. The song is just as infectious as Dreaming, but it also defines the sound of the band as truly Smallpools--not just a mixture of other artists’ sound elements (such as comparisons to Passion Pit, MGMT, and Foster the People). What defines this song is the catchy guitar riff and stellar vocals—and what indie fan doesn’t like the title being mason jars? ”But I miss the way you feel/ No one will ever know” is such a very powerful lyric, layered against that slow breakdown harmony. The song is relatable and catchy, and a perfect second single for this band.
My favorite song is the third track, Over & Over.Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the modern day indie power ballad. Everything about this song has me jamming and feeling every emotion. I can’t get enough!
No Story Time rounds out the Smallpools EP. This is the most rock sounding track on the album. It has enough contrast to the other tracks to show an interesting range in style, but still stays true to the fresh, upbeat California sound quality of Smallpools. Guys, “don’t you leave me alone, don’t you let go” and PLEASE make more amazing music.
What is even more interesting about Smallpools is that their first gig was only DAYS before their EP was released. They played their first show in New York, then started a tour opening up for the Australian band San Cisco (whose “Get Lucky” cover is EPIC to say the least) in early July, leading to a full summer tour schedule.
With such an amazing start and sound, Smallpools has become the chosen opening act for many bands this year. They recently played a couple shows with Two Door Cinema Club andSt. Lucia, and soon they are about to embark on a tour with twenty|one|pilots. Currently, they are opening for Walk The Moon’s fall tour with The Mowgli’s.
We were fortunate enough to see them perform last Wednesday at the Observatory in Santa Ana. From the moment they walked on stage to the last note of their set, the guys filled the room with their incredible sound and energy, and won the hearts of all the Walk The Moon fans at the SOLD OUT show. They seem liked they have been playing together for years with such a cohesive and prepared sound. They left us speechless (not that we could talk since we lost our voices singing along), and sore from all the dancing. They were a perfect fit to the lineup that night.
Listen to their performance of Mason Jar here
We caught up with the band after the show, where they were kind enough to meet and take pictures with ALL the fans waiting. They were one of the most genuine bands we ever had the pleasure to meet, that we even felt the need to buy tickets to their next headlining show in LA at The Troubadour, just to experience their EPIC energy again.
Smallpools is the current IT band and for good reason. Their quick rise combined with their incredible music and performances just makes us want more. It’s not a dream, Smallpools is the perfect package and the best new act of 2013.