In the next chapter of their career, indie pop band Smallpools is committed to keeping the killer tunes coming. Since their formation in 2013, the Los Angeles based trio have become known for their perky, effulgent indie pop sound. Frontman Sean Scanlon, guitarist Mike Kamerman, and drummer Beau Kuther compose the group.
Following their breakthrough single, Dreaming, which topped the alternative charts and was selected for the FIFA 14 soundtrack, the group released an EP and later LP titled LOVETAP! in 2015. Two years and a new record label later, Smallpools is back on the music scene (and the road) with their latest EP, The Science of Letting Go. From catchy tracks like “Million Bucks” to the slower, more lyrical sounds of “Mother,” the EP offers the complete package.
They’re preparing for a busy next few months, headlining the College of William and Mary’s Fall Welcome Concert September 1st and supporting MisterWives throughout their fall tour.
In light of this packed fall schedule, guitarist Mike Kamerman talked with Festival Pulse about the making of their latest EP and upcoming fall tour.
How has your sound evolved since your formation in 2013?
When we first formed, we were all fairly new to living in Los Angeles, everything felt fresh to us. We were inspired by our newfound musical connection and unknowingly fell into our initial sound. As we began spending more time together in the studio and later, on the road with great bands every night, we learned a lot about ourselves and each other. After all of the touring and the release of our album, we moved out of Hollywood and into the burbs to write new material. Life happened. Some relationships flourished, some fizzled, some contracts were thrown out, some new ones were signed, a baby was born, puppies happened, lots of change…and I can’t quite tell you what’s different about the music now, it could be better, it could be worse. I’m sure some type of sonic evolution took place. We’ve all evolved as people and I like where we are now.
How do you approach a headlining show like the one you’re playing at the College of William and Mary versus an opening band set on the tour tour you’re opening with MisterWives?
There are many different things to take into consideration when approaching a headlining show or a support slot. When you headline you need a longer set. Pacing is always important. College shows are interesting in the sense that some people come out to see you because they already like your band and others come because they hear that there’s “live” music happening somewhere. Support slots are the same way, some of the people in the crowd are already fans and for the rest, it’s our mission to try and convert them. The most important thing to me is keeping the crowd engaged and providing exciting moments. It’s really about finding the proper balance of what I’d want to see when I’m watching my favorite band BUT also keeping in mind what I’d want to see in a band that I’m on the fence with.
Who were your musical influences?
They range from Tears for Fears to The Strokes to Porter Robinson to Elton John to The Weekend to Nine Inch Nails. I love me some Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac. New Radicals, too!
What are your desert island discs?
“Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen, “Hot Fuss” by The Killers and Fleetwood Mac’s “Greatest Hits” disc.
For people that don’t know Smallpools, what can someone expect at a Smallpools concert?
An inflatable Killer Whale, a drum solo, a sparkly red suit jacket and some killer tunes, duh!
Your latest release (Science of Letting Go) is an EP. Why did you decide to go with an EP versus an album?
We hadn’t released music in over two years and we felt like an EP would be a nice re-introduction to the band. Nowadays, most people consume their music digitally, on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Music is very accessible; there’s so much of it to be heard and attention spans are super short..mine included. The idea of dropping a tight package of new songs was exciting to us and we’re happy with the response. We’re hoping to keep these tight packages coming frequently, it’s all about the NOW these days!
Additional information about Smallpools, including their fall tour dates and ticket sales, can be found on their website here.