Small Black :: "Moon Killer"

There was a delicacy in genre, not function of Small Black's early success. Riding so hotly on the crest of ten or so "chillwave" bands, of which they were the most exemplary and easily derided, the band crafted echoing, synthesized pop that was, perhaps, not always taken seriously. It added no great credibility that their best song, "Despicable Dogs" got considerably better when remixed by other surf-side synth purveyor, Washed Out. And yet, despite the critics, there was greatness in it, a sort of John Hughes-y thing for a generation unable to claim any particular weirdness as self-definition. Recently, seeming even further down the synth rabbit hole, the band have tendered a mixtape, Moon Killer, and a title track that is as stabbing and, frankly, sad a slice of synthesizer pop as you'll hear this year. "Never make you try" and, "It's an ugly way to do things" are the sing-song lyrical modules that house a melody full of wistful heartbreak. Or, put another way, like the critical arrows that ended up embedded in the band's corpus, it was far easier to push this through to the other side, to be even more synth heavy, than it would have been to reverse course, giving us something beautiful and entirely fatal. It's an ugly way to do things, I guess, but how else would you have it?

Moon Killer by Small Black

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