- Tiana Speter
FAVE 5: Swooning Sydney alt-popper SMALLS shares his top up-and-coming bands!
With his debut single Tail Lights already making waves in the world, Sydney artist SMALLS serves up some big charm with his effortless brand of alt-pop. Acting as the solo project behind Sydney artist Will Robinson, SMALLS brims with affable warmth and luminous melodics, with his brand new tune dipping its toes at times amongst the likes of The 1975 and Japanese Wallpaper while carrying you off on a billowing, gauzy cloud.
Centring its narrative around the ups and downs of being in a committed relationship with a loved one who struggles with their mental health, SMALLS finds pockets of joy in an otherwise heavy and potentially bleak concept, with glimmering guitars, heady vocals and lashings of reverb presenting catchy bliss anchored in poignancy. And while Tail Lights proves SMALLS is more than capable of dishing an earworm, today he's sharing with us some of his current musical crushes, from earworm wizards to bands making waves in his speakers right now. Check it out in his own words below!
I got into Egoism after my producer, Lewis Mitchell, produced their latest single ‘You You’ and I think they perfectly represent where indie pop is headed in the 2020’s. Their sound takes 90s bands like The Sugarcubes, The Cranberries and Pavement and polishes the production without taking away the analogue and shoegazey roots. I can’t wait for the world to open up again so I can see them play live.
A new Sydney band that have really impressed me with their lyricism and songwriting - I feel like their ‘Now I’m Ready Start’ EP was on repeat during my morning commute for two months solid. They just really know how to create an earworm! They’re like if Trophy Eyes tried to write songs like The Police and The Cure. 10/10 would vibe to again.
Another earworm specialist (not sure why I’ve got such a fascination with that word today). This young bloke only has a few songs out, but his track ‘Monday’ really struck me as a very mature composition. It’s like that song that you always planned to turn into a big and extravagant crescendo, but your producer convinced you that what the song wants to do is sit back, coast and relax. Super keen to see what’s next for him.
Just a couple of local legends who are always a smiling face every time I’ve caught a show or we’ve had the pleasure to share the stage. Their brand of psychedelic folky rock never fails to make people get up and dance – something I’ve seen few bands their size do. Each release of theirs is tighter and more refined. Definitely check them out.
Garage-y pop rock out of Adelaide. I’m stoked to see these guys start to gain traction over the last six months with their new singles. I can’t exactly pinpoint why I’m drawn to them – I think they encapsulate the DIY sound that Australian rock has become known for, but their melodies are more complex, almost reminiscent of some of our favourite high school Emo bands like Thrice and Thursday – it certainly makes them stand out. No doubt you’ll hear more about them in the future.
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BY TIANA SPETER