STORY // ANGIE PICCIRILLO
PHOTOS // BRANDON KEITH
I accidentally discovered Nashville-based indie-rock band Smallpools a while back thanks to Spotify — despite the many large tours they have been on with acts like Twenty One Pilots, Grouplove and Walk The Moon — let’s just say I was late to the party on this one unfortunately. Last month I was thrilled to discover that Smallpools featured one of my other favorite bands, The Aces, on one of my favorite-songs-of-right now called “Stumblin’ Home,” take a listen and try not to get addicted.
Smallpools first came onto the scene with “Dreaming,” which has now gone RIAA Certified Gold, which surged to the top of the Hype Machine chart; quickly earning the band support from alternative radio stations across the country. Their older songs including faves like “Million Bucks” will make you think they are surely in the category of Alt Rock — however, listen to the newer songs and you might think otherwise…
Today, the band is releasing their second single, entitled “Social,” from their upcoming EP titled “So Social,” which comes out December 7th. Like “Stumblin’ Home” before it, the track takes on an 80’s synth-pop angle that makes it obvious this band is growing in all the right directions. “Social” is a new-age pop-synth banger that sounds as if 90’s Weezer were crossed with a dash of Wham! — the song lyrics definitely make it sound like it’s cooler to be a weirdo and bask in your dorkdom than it does to be popular.
Take a listen to the track here, and read our Q&A with guitarist/lead vocalist Mike Kamerman below.
What was the inspiration behind “Social”? Was it inspired by anyone/any situation in particular?
Mike: “Social” was written at a time when we were deep within one of our musical self-discovery phases and ironically, we weren’t really feeling all that “social”. To me the song is really an anthem for anyone who is choosing to stay in on any given night and work on a skill, hone in a craft, study, etc. Rather than subjecting yourself to that crazy world outside your front door, you’re saying “nah..I’m gonna hang home, heat up some soup and watch a documentary on Mars.”
Do you have a favorite lyric from the song? And why?
Mike: “Save yourself from the so social”. I picture ” the so social” as an entourage of cartoon-like zombies with varsity jackets on..or leather jackets or whatever. They’re being a bad influence on the general population. They amuse me.
If you had to describe the song as a cocktail, what would you say is the recipe?
Mike: An earl grey tea bag + water + honey or an earl grey tea bag + whiskey + honey. Both equally tasty..your choice.
We’ve all heard “Stumblin’ Home” by now — and everyone seems to love both versions. Since it’s the first track from the upcoming EP— is it an indicator of what the rest of the album will sound like?
Mike: Thanks! I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s an indicator of what the rest of the music sounds like but we felt it was a nice introductory statement for this next era of the band.
What was it like to work with The Aces on Stumblin’ Home?
Mike: We’ve been fans of The Aces since we first heard “Stuck” a few years back and it was a dream come true to be able to collaborate with them for this one. They’re such talented musicians and Cristal’s voice is so unique and pleasing, her vocal really took the song to a new realm…Earth to Westeros.
You’ve toured with so many big acts in your career so far — who would you one day hope to tour with? (either supporting and/or co-headlining)
Mike: I’d love to get New Radicals back together and watch Gregg Alexander perform every night for a month straight. I don’t think he’d really like that though.
If you had to create your dream lineup with Smallpools and any other bands — dead or alive — what would the line up be?
Mike: Ahhhh. Tears for Fears, The Police, The Wonders.. Wild Stallions.. Dead or Alive can play too if they wanted
Any teasers from the upcoming EP you can give us?
Mike: Not really but I think there’s a little something for everyone within these 5 tracks..somewhere.
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