Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's just amazing when the shit starts to clear away for the first time in the new year. The street sweepers venture out of their municipal, maintenance garage homes and swipe along the city streets, collecting all of the sand and grime that got trapped for a good handful of months as Old Man Winter stayed and stayed and stayed, pushing us indoors with our oil-burning heat or our chopped logs, to ride it out. All of those ugly as hell brown-ish gray trees that have been storing up and hiding their potential energy all throughout that hibernation period begin to pop, a nibble of green at the ends of their suddenly rubbery and bendy, fingered branches. One minute, there's only a small break from the depressing scene we'd gotten so used to for so long and the next minute, we're thrust into a view that most certainly was NOT there the day before. It's as if everything - our spirits and the world - can change overnight and we're allowed to let our hides thin out again. We toss our coats, gloves and hats into the recesses of our closets as if they were the most repulsive articles of clothing ever known to man. We want nothing more to do with them - ever, if we had our way. Over the last few weeks, there have been some breakout days around here, the kinds that make a pasty, dry-skinned body cock its eyebrows and wonder if all of the nonsense is soon to be over for a prolonged period of time. We start to wonder if we should get the grill ready.
Brooklyn band Small Black make us feel like today felt. Most of the day here was in the 70s and, though it's early April and these sorts of things really should be happening with a little more regularity and should be greeted with something less than skepticism or sarcasm, they are small points of brilliance that we don't just take for granted. Not yet. Give us a month and a half and we'll be fully settled into that daily routine of expecting the niceties and warmth all-round. For the time being, we're embracers and we cannot, for the life of us, believe that days like today exist or ever have existed. We are enthralled with what is happening, with what we're getting and it's not being taken lightly. We went out onto the backyard lawn just after dinnertime tonight. It was still a bright day and we laid down on our backs, just looking up at the sky, feeling no nip of chill in the air. We could have stayed there, comfortably, for hours, we suspect. Small Black makes music that feels like the kind that starts flowing like the sap in the pine trees and the syrup in the maples when the weather gets cooking well enough to support such circulation. It feels as if we're being handed our sunglasses, directly from the band members, all of whom are urging us to put them on, for the sun's stronger than we'd think right now. It's mostly their effect. They've done this. They're doing this.
Small Black Official Site