Getty|WireImage|Getty The word "reinvention" comes to mind when you consider…
- Posted on Oct 20th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"We consciously went into it wanting to make something a little big bigger and a little cleaner," singer and sonic tinkerer Josh Kolenik tells Spinner.
The album isn't much of a departure from the EP -- reviewers will still struggle to avoid using the dreaded "chillwave" descriptor -- but it's slightly more polished and suitable for the stage.
"A lot of it is a reaction to playing the older stuff live," Kolenik says. "Everything [on the EP] was kind of deliberately a little bit more lo-fi, and we weren't trying to make a huge-sounding pop record. Live, the beats and stuff don't come across as well as something produced well with a better low end. Just our experience of touring the material, we discovered what we'd want to play more in the live context and that influenced the direction of how we wanted the new record to sound."
Another key factor: Since recording the EP, Kolenik and co-founder Ryan Heyner have doubled Small Black's membership, adding drummer Jeff Curtin and bassist Juan Pieczanski, whose parents own the Delaware house that became the group's place of exile. Kolenik says the new members do more than just flesh out the live sound -- they also bring recording expertise.
"We have more facility to make a better-sounding record," Kolenik says, praising his band mates' handiness with Pro Tools. "Whereas the first record, we made what we felt was really doable with the equipment and space we had."
If their technical know-how has improved, the musicians' songwriting process, or lack thereof, hasn't changed.
"There's no direct songwriter," Kolenik says. "I do all the lyrics, but all the music is kind of written collaboratively, and we just added more hands and ears into the equation, as far as making that happen. At the end of the song, no one can remember what they even played on it. It just kind of is. And I feel like we're more willing to throw anything out if we agree it's not working."