SMALL BLACK

The cover of Brooklyn-based Small Black's second LP, Limits of Desire, features a photo of a man and a woman embracing on either side of a ladder, completely naked, divided by its triangular arc. They're close, but they can't get any closer. It's a moving depiction of connectivity and interaction in the 21st century and it serves as a sort of source code for the record. Limits of Desire is Small Black's most accomplished album yet. It's a crystalline realization of a sound they've been building toward since their self-titled EP in 2009. Now a full-time four piece, Josh Hayden Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums, percussion), the band have moved way beyond the hazy home recorded sound of their previous releases toward a full-fledged, but still self-produced, clear approach. Where 2010's New Chain was a lesson in maximalist pop, Limits of Desire finds the band trimming their sound to the essentials, yet hitting new and unexpected heights with the addition of live drums, electric guitar and trumpet to the existing Small Black palette. Tonally the songs sweep and glide over lush keys, bolstered by lyrics that illustrate the semi-abstract moments of lost opportunities and misread signs, hinted at by the cover image. The title track whirls softly, and channels luminaries Tears for Fears and The Blue Nile, anchored by Pieczanski's punchy bass as Kolenik sings: "Other lives droned/ far from the grass where I lay/ each eye stared out the opposite way." As much as the record is about looking for deeper connections, it's also about avoiding real life, if only for a moment--getting out of your own head just long enough to calm down and find perspective. "Free At Dawn" and "No Stranger" do what fans have come to love Small Black for, only better. They're smart pop bangers tinged with a specific brand of melancholy that slowly build to night-affirming climaxes. While "Breathless" ups the tempo, over synth stabs, with lyrics that tackle apathy and uncertainty with catchy grace: "I'm standing in tomorrow's way/ future's fine/least it seems okay." It paints a concise portrait of a generation struggling with unlimited freedom and malaise. The band builds on a rich history of synth pop by making a thoroughly modern album, on both the front and back end. One that seeks out cohesion, connection and calm in a world that won't sit still. Limits of Desire doesn't attempt to provide any solutions, but coming to terms with not finding the answers feels infinitely more fruitful.

WATCH // Teen Vogue Premieres “No Stranger” Video From Small Black’s Album, ‘Limits of Desire’, Out Now

Today Teen Vogue premiered the official video for Small Black‘s “No Stranger”, off their recent release, Limits Of Desire.

Small Black is on tour right now hitting Red 7 in Austin tonight with the rest of the dates, including recently announced dates with STRFKR below
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Happy Release Day // Small Black’s ‘Limits of Desire’ Out Now

Happy release day!! Small Black’s Limits of Desire is now available at iTunes, Amazon, SC Distribution, and your local record store. Better go ahead and get your copy! Then check out the beautiful “Free At Dawn” video – posted below.

Small Black played their first show of the season last Friday at the opening reception for their Limits of Desire art show. You can check out photos from the gallery HERE. The band starts their full tour at the end of May. You’ll find the full list of dates and ticket links HERE.

ALBUM STREAM // Small Black’s ‘Limits of Desire’ Playing at Pitchfork, Tour Starts Friday

Small Black’s new record, Limits of Desire, is ready for your ears. Pitchfork Advance has the exclusive album stream with all ten songs just waiting to enter the world. Head there now.

There’s no question of liking the album. You’re going to love it. When you discover that feeling, head to SC Distribution, iTunes or Amazon for your very own copy of Limits of Desire, out officially next Tuesday!

Small Black Announce LIMITS OF DESIRE Art Show

Small Black are all set to host an art show exploring the themes of their new album, Limits of Desire. As a collaborative event, the show will feature work by 17 artists (full list found below), working in various media. The band paired with Lindsay Aveilhe, an Independent Curator and the Research Associate for the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings Catalogue Raisonnée, to curate the show.

“Inspired by the title track, the exhibition gathers artists whose work confronts or responds to the arbitrary framework of wants or desires upon which we exist, as well as the ways in which that framework can be restricting. For these artists, the limits of desire are manifest in their artistic process, in their relationship with materials and in their treatment of content.” – Lindsay Aveilhe

LIMITS OF DESIRE will take place at Dunham Gallery with an opening reception held Friday, May 10 from 7:00 – 10:00pm. Small Black plan to DJ the after-party from 10-11pm. Join the Facebook event for additional details. See you there.

 
Artists featured in LIMITS OF DESIRE:
Morgan Blair (created the art for the band’s first two albums)
Dan Baker (runs intricate lights shows for the band’s live performances)
Agnes Thor (frequently photographed the band)
Scarlett Hooft Graafland (created the striking cover image for Limits of Desire)
Roman Liška
Ethan Cook
Adam Kremer
Peter Rostovsky
Jen Schwarting
Lauren Luloff
Jess Fuller
Joe Baptista
Kim Hoeckele
Borden Capalino
Ian Swanson
Anna K. Miller
Austin Nelson

Real People by Small Black

Breathless by Small Black

No Stranger by Small Black

Free At Dawn by Small Black

Photojournalist by Small Black

Despicable Dogs by Small Black

Bad Lover by Small Black

Lines of Latitude by Small Black
Free At Dawn by Small Black
Despicable Dogs by Small Black
Search Party by Small Black
Photojournalist by Small Black

There are no shows at this time.

See all upcoming shows

U.S.: Marshall Betts
Windish Agency, marshall@windishagency.com

U.K./EU: Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists
clemence@elasticartists.net

© 2015 Jagjaguwar. All rights reserved.