Band Profile: Smallpools

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If you’re looking for some fun summer jams, and you don’t already have some Smallpools songs on your beach or road trip playlist, you are missing out.

Smallpools is a Los Angeles-based indie band made up of singer Sean Scanlon, guitarist Mike Kamerman, and drummer Beau Kuther.

Smallpools’ music has a fun, party vibe without taking away from content and quality. Fast drums, catchy choruses with strong backing vocals, and creative lyrics come together to make music that will get you up off your feet and dancing.

 

Their first single, “Dreaming” is far and away their most popular song, but if you’re only listening to the chart-toppers, you are missing out on some excellent deeper tracks. Check out other winners like “American Love,” “Street Fight” and “Admission to Your Party.”

The band formed in LA in 2013 and quickly released their first single, “Dreaming” which reached #23 on Billboard’s Alternative Song chart, has continued to be a fan-favorite. They released a self-titled EP with RCA Records shortly after, and a full-length album, LOVETAP! in 2015.

It’s likely you’ve caught their track “Over and Over” from a popular Snapchat promo video, or their most recent single “Run With the Bulls.”

Keep an eye out for Smallpools’ new music, which apparently is coming soon. The band’s website frustratingly gives no concrete info on when music is coming, other than “New music Summer ’17,” so hopefully that means something soon. They’ve also got a tour scheduled for late summer/early fall, so if they are coming to your town, it’s a safe bet for a fun time.

 

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Band Profile: The Front Bottoms

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The Front Bottoms are an indie-rock/ folk-punk band from New Jersey, originally consisting of only Brian Sella on vocals and acoustic guitar and Mat Uychich on drums in a set-up often described with the phrase “it shouldn’t work, but it does.”

Their style is profoundly unique and raw; it carries the simplicity and relatability of folk rock, with the power and emotion of punk. Brian’s lyrics somehow manage to be specifically an articulation of his own experiences, and yet at the same time feel as if they are common to us all.

After a number of self-released EPs in 2007-2010, the band finally put out a self-titled album with label Bar/None in 2011, followed by Talon of the Hawk in 2013. The latter of which contains the song “Twin-Sized Mattress”- a crowd favorite (and excellent representation of the band’s sound, if you’re looking for a sample).

 

The addition of Tom Warren on bass and Ciaran O’Donnell on guitar, keys, and trumpet, as well as the band’s move to Fueled by Ramen made some changes to the sound of their newest album. Back on Top has a more polished and electric feel, moving away from the simplicity of the solo acoustic guitar. While different, the album maintains the band’s standard of excellence. New favorites include Cough It Out, West Virginia, and Summer Shanty.  Even the B-side tracks (Ginger, 2YL) are fun and memorable. Although older fans took some warming up to the difference in sound, the overall response is positive.

Here’s “Cough It Out” from Back on Top 

In addition to fun and relateable music, one thing I personally really enjoy about this band is their music videos. All their videos are fun and enjoyable, without taking focus away from the music itself. Even now they seem to retain the simplicity and lovability of the early videos, which all look like they were made on an $8 budget. They, like the music itself, feel like they were made by really talented friends of yours, like this is something accessible and right here for you, no pretentiousness needed.

Check out the videos for BackflipFunny You Should Ask, and West Virginia  to see what I mean.

Local Band Profile: In Her Own Words

In Her Own Words is a Los Angeles local Pop-punk band that if you haven’t heard, you are missing out.

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The classic pop-punk sound is still alive and well in southern California, and still rocking in basement shows and emptied-out backyard pools the way so many of us in East Coast suburbs only imagined. If not always literally in that type of show, this band still embodies that SoCal vibe with their rocking riffs and fast, hard lyrics. They are Blink-182 meets Real Friends, with impressively controlled vocals and rhythm.

Since 2010 the band has put out three EPs and one full length album, all independently produced. “East and West,” the 2014 EP, features acoustic versions of five songs from the earlier album “Everything I Used To Trust,” giving fans a chance to really see the wide range of talent the guys have.

Catch them local in LA, or check out their music through their facebook page here, or download on iTunes.

 

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