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 // Small Black New Premiere Video for “Free At Dawn,” Pre-Order ‘Limits Of Desire’ Now at SCD, iTunes & Amazon

Happy Monday. Small Black are bringing this week in with a brand new video for their song “Free At Dawn.” Premiering along with an exclusive interview at Interview Magazine, the video was directed by Yoonha Park and inspired by Hollis Frampton’s experimental 1970′s film Zorns Lemma. “Free At Dawn” stands as an ode to Brooklyn, capturing beautiful shots of the city and all on 16mm film.
Watch above.

Small Black’s Limits of Desire is officially out on May 14, but you can pre-order the album now! Head to SC Distribution for the deluxe bundle (pictured below), which includes: the album on both CD and limited-edition white vinyl, 12×12″ print with artist portraits (for the first 200 orders), 17×22″ glossy poster and a digital download code redeemable April 30. The record is also available at iTunes and Amazon!

SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK // Jagjaguwar at SXSW 2013

SWIM.AT.YOUR.OWN.RISK. Jagjaguwar has teamed up with Dead Oceans and Secretly Canadian for an OFFICIAL SXSW SHOWCASE and folks, let me tell you, it’s a real winner. Jagjaguwar artists include Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen, Small Black and The Besnard Lakes.

The event takes place on THURSDAY, MARCH 14 at RED 7 (611 E. 7th St.), and all with wristbands/badges are invited to attend. Artists will perform on both the indoor and outdoor stages! See the full showcase schedule below (JAG artists shown in bold). You’ll also find all of our artists’ performance schedules at the end of the post.

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DOC/JAG/SC Official Label Showcase

Outdoor Stage

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: 1:00 – 1:45
Phosphorescent: 11:55 – 12:40
Foxygen: 10:55 – 11:35
Bleached: 10:00 – 10:35
Small Black: 9:05 – 9:40
Cayucas: 8:15 – 8:45

Indoor Stage

Akron/Family: 12:35 – 1:20
The Besnard Lakes: 11:30 – 12:15
DIANA: 10:40 – 11:10
Suuns: 9:45 – 10:20
Night Beds: 8:50 – 9:25
Brazos: 8:00 – 8:30

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ARTIST SHOWCASE SCHEDULES:

The Besnard Lakes
3/13 @ 4406 AVE C Pussy Palace (Brooklyn Vegan) 4:30pm
3/13 @ Swan Dive (Planet Quebec) 11:00pm
3/14 @ Red 7 (DOC/JAG/SC Showcase) 11:30pm
3/15 @ Pussy Palace (BUST) 2:00pm
3/15 @ The Ginger Man (Blurt) 4:45pm

DIANA
3/13 @ Empire Control Room (EXFM/Megablaag) 11:00pm
3/14 @ Red 7 (DOC/JAG/SC Showcase) 10:40pm

Foxygen
3/13 @ Stage on Sixth (Paste) 2:00pm
3/13 @ Hype Hotel (Aquarium Drunkard) 11:00pm
3/14 @ Flamingo Cantina (Under the Radar) 2:25pm
3/14 @ Red 7 (DOC/JAG/SC Showcase) 10:55pm
3/16 @ Old Emo’s (Brooklyn Vegan) 12:45pm
3/16 @ Hotel San Jose (SXSJ) 4:00pm

Small Black
3/14 @ Red 7 (DOC/JAG/SC Showcase) 9:05pm
3/15 @ 508 House (C3 – DJ Set) 1:00pm
3/15 @ Lustre Pearle on Rainey (Filter) 9:00pm
3/16 @ Stubb’s BBQ 9:00pm – Official SXSW Showcase w/Vampire Weekend

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
03/13 – 5:30pm – Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop – KEXP Showcase
03/13 – 11pm – Scoot Inn – Life or Death PR Showcase
03/14 – 3:45pm – 1100 Warehouse – Pitchfork Unofficial Day Party
03/14 – 1am – Red 7 – Jagjaguwar Label Showcase
03/15 – 1:50pm – Stubbs BBQ – SPIN Media Official Party
03/16 – 5pm – Old Emos – Brooklyn Vegan

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Small Black Announce New Album ‘Limits of Desire’ – Out May 14, Stream The First Single Now

Small Black are back with their new album Limits of Desire! Set for release on May 14, 2013, Limits of Desire is a crystallization of the band’s gorgeous synth-pop sound. Get your first taste with the single “Free At Dawn” – available for streaming above!

Limits of Desire is the sound of four skilled musicians crafting stories about intimacy on the highest level. SB have pared back embellishments, letting their talents take them to a welcomed shift in both sound and style. In premiering the first single, The Fader writes, “It’s nude, but still packed with meaning.” Have Small Black arrived? We think so. Check out both the album artwork and the track listing below.

Track Listing for Limits of Desire
1. Free At Dawn
2. Canoe
3. No Stranger
4. Sophie
5. Breathless
6. Proper Spirit
7. Only A Shadow
8. Limits of Desire
9. Shook Loves
10. Outskirts

HOLY FRIDAY // Small Black Interview & Album Trailer at SPIN

Have you been eagerly awaiting new Small Black material? Us too. Luckily for everyone, the boys have been hard at work making the new record. SPIN recently chatted up SB, getting all the details and filling us in on what to expect. Read the interview HERE. Maybe even better than an interview? Get excited – it’s an awesome new album trailer featuring “Limits of Desire,” a combination of songs from the record. Make your Friday the best day ever and watch the video above!

“I think as you get a little older and more learned in your craft, you want to show everything and not hide behind multiple vocal takes or any sort of haze or crud,” says frontman Josh Kolenik. “We’re going to live or die by our vocals and there’s no sweeping it under the rug.”Josh Kolenik

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

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