Tue April 30, 2024

Smallpools - The Night Shift Tour

at The Independent (7:30pm)
Smallpools with Grayscale

The story of Smallpools is mostly a series of happy coincidences. Vocalist Sean Scanlon and guitarist Mike Kamerman met at SXSW in 2007 while both of them were playing in different bands. After forging a friendship based on a mutual love of music and a shared frustration of not seeing their respective bands actually take off, the two eventually decided to join forces and, ultimately, leave the East Coast behind. Moving to LA in 2011 ("We threw all of our stuff in a van and drove cross country from New Jersey," says Kamerman), both musicians had no solid plan other than to try and make music and not starve to death in the process. "It just seemed like eventually something would have to happen," recalls vocalist Sean Scanlon. As luck would have it, eventually something did. After randomly crossing paths with bassist and recent Portland transplant Joe Intile (who, in turn, would randomly cross paths with drummer Beau Kuther, himself recently uprooted from Portland and dropped in Los Angeles for work), the newly assembled band booked some studio time in Atlanta to bang out three songs that would ultimately serve as a template for their burgeoning sound, a first in a series of happy surprises for the band.

"The biggest surprise for me was the moment in which we realized that our friends were reacting favorably to the songs we were working on," says Kamerman. "When we all got together and decided that we wanted to start playing music together, the real goal was to play a gig or two a month and just tap back into that creative sides of our brains again . Individually, we were all in similar places in life where we knew we wanted to play music but the reality of doing it for a living was looking grim. For me, the band and rehearsal and what not, was just meant to be this easy escape at night where I could go and play some music and forget about my day of waiting tables."

"We had a lot of random ideas when we started," continues Kamerman, "But once we kind of hit on the sound, I think we all knew it. We grew up listening to the same stuff that our parents loved--Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Springsteen, Elton John--so the goal was always to push ourselves in writing what we thought were good songs. The actual sound of it just sort of came from this new world we suddenly found ourselves living in. After a year of really struggling in LA, the songs became the way out."

Recorded with up-and-coming LA production team Captain Cuts, the tracks on the self-titled EP nicely encapsulate the kind of kaleidoscopic rock/pop explosion Smallpools is all about. "Dreaming" is a potent statement of intent--a propulsive synthsplosion that blends stadium-sized hooks with Scanlon's euphoric vocals. When he sings the song's titular lyric--"Please God tell me we're dreaming!"--It's easy to imagine a million summertime sing-alongs happening in unison. Elsewhere tracks like "Mason Jar" and "Over and Over" have the kind of guitar lines and buoyant choruses that would make any lover of classic FM radio exceedingly happy. Given that all four bandmembers are seasoned musicians, the pristine pop of Smallpools music is no accident. The airtight songs dip and soar at all the right moments thanks to the no bullshit indie-pop hooks that seem to be embedded in their DNA.

As for the future of Smallpools, everyone in the band agrees that they are in it to win it, with the expectation that the story of the band is one that is only just beginning to be written. My wildest fantasy for this band would just be for us to continue writing exciting music that we're proud of for years and years to come," says Kamerman. We are going to finish a full-length album and tour as much as we physically can," confers Kuther, "I want create a community of Smallpools enthusiasts that will stick with us for a long time and make this band a career band. We are striving for longevity, not a quick success."
Smallpools with Grayscale

The story of Smallpools is mostly a series of happy coincidences. Vocalist Sean Scanlon and guitarist Mike Kamerman met at SXSW in 2007 while both of them were playing in different bands. After forging a friendship based on a mutual love of music and a shared frustration of not seeing their respective bands actually take off, the two eventually decided to join forces and, ultimately, leave the East Coast behind. Moving to LA in 2011 ("We threw all of our stuff in a van and drove cross country from New Jersey," says Kamerman), both musicians had no solid plan other than to try and make music and not starve to death in the process. "It just seemed like eventually something would have to happen," recalls vocalist Sean Scanlon. As luck would have it, eventually something did. After randomly crossing paths with bassist and recent Portland transplant Joe Intile (who, in turn, would randomly cross paths with drummer Beau Kuther, himself recently uprooted from Portland and dropped in Los Angeles for work), the newly assembled band booked some studio time in Atlanta to bang out three songs that would ultimately serve as a template for their burgeoning sound, a first in a series of happy surprises for the band.

"The biggest surprise for me was the moment in which we realized that our friends were reacting favorably to the songs we were working on," says Kamerman. "When we all got together and decided that we wanted to start playing music together, the real goal was to play a gig or two a month and just tap back into that creative sides of our brains again . Individually, we were all in similar places in life where we knew we wanted to play music but the reality of doing it for a living was looking grim. For me, the band and rehearsal and what not, was just meant to be this easy escape at night where I could go and play some music and forget about my day of waiting tables."

"We had a lot of random ideas when we started," continues Kamerman, "But once we kind of hit on the sound, I think we all knew it. We grew up listening to the same stuff that our parents loved--Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Springsteen, Elton John--so the goal was always to push ourselves in writing what we thought were good songs. The actual sound of it just sort of came from this new world we suddenly found ourselves living in. After a year of really struggling in LA, the songs became the way out."

Recorded with up-and-coming LA production team Captain Cuts, the tracks on the self-titled EP nicely encapsulate the kind of kaleidoscopic rock/pop explosion Smallpools is all about. "Dreaming" is a potent statement of intent--a propulsive synthsplosion that blends stadium-sized hooks with Scanlon's euphoric vocals. When he sings the song's titular lyric--"Please God tell me we're dreaming!"--It's easy to imagine a million summertime sing-alongs happening in unison. Elsewhere tracks like "Mason Jar" and "Over and Over" have the kind of guitar lines and buoyant choruses that would make any lover of classic FM radio exceedingly happy. Given that all four bandmembers are seasoned musicians, the pristine pop of Smallpools music is no accident. The airtight songs dip and soar at all the right moments thanks to the no bullshit indie-pop hooks that seem to be embedded in their DNA.

As for the future of Smallpools, everyone in the band agrees that they are in it to win it, with the expectation that the story of the band is one that is only just beginning to be written. My wildest fantasy for this band would just be for us to continue writing exciting music that we're proud of for years and years to come," says Kamerman. We are going to finish a full-length album and tour as much as we physically can," confers Kuther, "I want create a community of Smallpools enthusiasts that will stick with us for a long time and make this band a career band. We are striving for longevity, not a quick success."
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Date/Times:
  • Tue Apr 30 (7:30pm)
The Independent 80 Upcoming Events
628 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

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