Premiere: SMALLS is an indie-pop act to meet with his new single, What You Got
In his second single, the Sydney musician continues to craft comparisons to acts like The 1975 with his charming alt-pop sound.
The alt-pop world is amongst the most exciting musical spheres at the moment, largely thanks to a blossoming next generation of musicians emerging through social media. There has been a multitude of them over the last year in particular, whether it be international acts becoming favourites around the world, or the next-ups they're inspiring in doing so, leading the foundations of alt-pop pockets spread throughout Australia, the US, the UK and beyond; each one adding their own little touches and flavours to the distinctive sound.
Sydney-based musician SMALLS is someone in that Australian indie-pop pocket, and while his sound is distinctive thanks to its Australian twist in itself, a lot of it builds from his experiences with music while growing up in regional Australia; the musician - real name Will Robinson - originally growing up in rural New South Wales. "I grew up on a canola farm in rural NSW during the peak of the drought," he reflects. "When you live 20km from the nearest township and there isn’t a lot of coin in the bank, there isn’t much else to do except pick up an instrument and try to smash out Metallica covers on a nylon string acoustic to cure the boredom."
Skip forward a few years, and the now city-based musician captures the heart of his long-time musical fascinations with a searing nostalgia-pop edge, combing through influences from the past and present and bringing it forwards to the future, with the end result being this creative take on indie-pop that feels unique to SMALLS. It's something that was shown on his debut single Tail Lights last year and again with his second single What You Got, which with its premiere today, makes it two-from-two by the one to watch in the past 12 months.
What You Got is a single that marries SMALLS' dance-y indie-pop sound with reflective and personally in-touch vocals, translating his feelings on his cross-state move into a gleaming and cathartic burst of The 1975-esque energy. "Moving to a new city is scary. I’ve known friends who have relocated to new places during peak covid and really struggled to make friends and feel a sense of connection," he says on the single. "This song is about how much we rely on other people’s actions to make us feel connected or appreciated. I wanted to write a song that captured city nightlife and dance floor anthems while not letting go of the 80s/90s nostalgia in the production."
It all ties together very nicely, and considering the strengths of what we've seen from SMALLS already, we have no doubts that this is going to be something that continues to define his work in the future. There's no doubt more to come, but until then, take a dive into What You Got as it premieres on Pilerats today, ahead of its official release this Friday, May 7th.