Small Black is excited to announce their new album, Best Blues, due out October 16th on Jagjaguwar. The group’s third full length release, written and recorded at their Brooklyn home studio, nicknamed 222, showcases a mature band still evolving, and embracing the unpredictable. Josh Kolenik (keys, vocals), Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski (bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums) have been recording, writing, and often living together, throughout the life of the band, establishing a closeness that has allowed them to achieve easy creativity and unspoken chemistry.
After a year of recording, the band enlisted mixer Nicholas Vernhes (The War on Drugs,Deerhunter) of Rare Book Room Studio to help complete Best Blues. The result is Small Black in their sweet spot: the smoky intersection of considered and vulnerable songwriting and loose, almost nonchalant ambience. The addition of piano flourishes, trumpet (Darby Cicci of The Antlers), hidden acoustic guitars and Kaede Ford’s ethereal vocals provide new dimensions to the band’s already expansive sonic palette.
Gracing the cover of Best Blues is a mysterious woman walking alone on the dunes at dusk, amid pockmarked sand. She’s the subject of a found photo, one of many rescued with the warmth of a blow dryer and a fireplace, by singer Josh Kolenik after Hurricane Sandy flooded his family’s Long Island home. The faded image offers clues and invites viewers to construct their own narrative, one that escapes even the picture’s taker, Kolenik’s father.
To put it simply, Best Blues is an album about loss, the specific loss of precious people in our lives, but also the loss of memories and the difficult fight to preserve them. “I spent months trying to scan all these images and letters, most covered with ocean dirt, and in doing so discovered what people often find in their family’s past: that they are a hell of a lot like those who’d come before,” says Kolenik. The chorus of lead single “Boys Life,” debuted via The New York Times’ T Magazine and Sirius XMU, echoes this sentiment with the refrain “pictures of youth/picturing you,” over a track that itself was an old demo re-discovered by accident by the band, during a late night jam session at a cabin in Upstate New York.
Small Black will tour this fall in support of Best Blues and a full list of dates is below.
Small Black online:
Sun. Oct. 11 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
Tue. Oct. 13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
Wed. Oct. 14 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa *
Fri. Oct. 16 – Austin, TX @ Red 7 *
Sat. Oct. 17 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
Tue. Oct. 20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
Wed. Oct. 21 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Fri. Oct. 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
Sat. Oct. 24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Mon. Oct. 26 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *
Tue. Oct. 27 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret *
Wed. Oct. 28 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile – Back Bar *
Thu. Oct. 29 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux *
Fri. Oct. 30 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
Sat. Oct. 31 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
Mon. Nov. 2 – Kansas City, MO @ The Tank Room *
Tue. Nov. 3 – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill *
Wed. Nov. 4 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry *
Fri. Nov. 6 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
Sat. Nov. 7 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory *
Sun. Nov. 8 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
Tue. Nov. 10 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa *
Wed. Nov. 11 – Burlington, TV @ Signal Kitchen *
Thu. Nov. 12 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall *
Sat. Nov. 21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right *
* w/ Painted Palms