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Music |

Video: Small Black ‘Free At Dawn’

Tuesday 05 March 2013

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Words Spindle

Today Small Black has shared their first single off their new album ‘Limits of
Desire’ (released 13th May 2013). The new single, Free at Dawn, encapsulates the
sophisticated and carefully crafted quality of the album as a whole. Free at Dawn
starts off with a low rumble and builds to a climax with Josh Hayden Kolenik (vocals,
keys) chanting the song title over flowing guitars and synths. This is a real feel-good
sound that marks the transition into spring/summer well.

Following on from their 2010 album ‘New Chain’ and 2009’s self-titled EP, ‘Limits of
Desire’ is a solid statement of Small Black’s soaring synth-pop sound. For this new
album, the four-piece – Kolenik, Ryan Heyner (guitar, keys, vocals), Juan Pieczanski
(bass, guitar) and Jeff Curtin (drums, percussion) – have progressed from the
hazy, bedroom-recorded feel of their previous releases to a more refined sound.
Kolenik has spoken of the change in the band’s sound, admitting that Small Black
has swapped the “hyper-layered collage-y” feel of ‘New Chain’ for a more minimal,
mature and precisely rendered sound. “As you get a little older and more learned in
your craft, you want to show everything and not hide behind multiple vocal takes or
any sort of haze.”

As well as releasing the first single today, Small Black has also unveiled the album
art and tracklisting for ‘Limits of Desire’. The album cover, shot by Dutch artist
Scarlett Hooft Graafland, serves as a visual accompaniment to the themes covered
in the album. Featuring a naked man and woman, embracing on either side of a
ladder, the two are divided by the ladder’s triangular span and so are close but
unable to get any closer. There is an unfulfilled intimacy about the shot, reflecting
the album’s themes of how our desires are limited and how, in turn, we are limited by

This album is the sound of four talented musicians that have truly come into their
own shaping stories about intimacy at its peak.

Words: Kitty Lungley