Fun-loving indie pop band Smallpools has released their first project in over two years with the group’s new EP “The Science of Letting Go,” Devoted fans of the band had been looking forward to the new music for months, especially after getting a taste with the debut single “Million Bucks,” The song features a beachy acoustic guitar during the verses, but the bridge and chorus brings one back to that Smallpools electronic explosive vibe that fans fell in love with. Lead singer and keyboardist Sean Scanlan has an energetic performance in the EP as a whole. Lively and danceable songs are expected on a smallpools track, and this project is no exception.
The second song “DJs & Porsches,” discusses a love fading away over material objects. It slows down for a little bit, allowing Scanlan’s vocals to truly shine, but has a funky beat and reminds oneself of a beach party. Their songs are definitely California coast inspired, and transports one to the place and feel described. Centerfold has a strong electric guitar feature and really reminisces of their praised song on Lovetap!, 9 to 5. The lyrics discuss “facing your flaws” and how magazines and centerfolds are very “framed” and “staged”, similar to their previous song “Admission to your party,” Smallpools likes to pick apart Hollywood standards. This really creates an interesting perspective to listen to their songs from. Although Centerfold is probably the weakest song on the project, it still holds its weight overall.
In my opinion, the strongest song on the EP is the second single “Passenger Side,” It once again indicates a West Coast vibe, and describes reminiscing about “desert drives” with a past love interest. The song has a strong characterization and really depicts the scene with the couple having “weekend bracelets on,” and “switching the song” from a “cracked Iphone”, something extremely relatable if you ask me. The electronic backing vocals create a really unique sound, and much like DJ’s and Porsches, it has slower verses so the chorus can really explode and create a dynamic sound.
The closing song “Mother” has an anthem-like vibe- perfect to end on. This is slowed down in entirety and really just focuses on Scanlan’s vocals. It is more raw than any Smallpools song, but it still misses something. I just was waiting for some beat drop, something exciting. But that never occurred. It is a solid track, but just does not interest me as much as some of the band’s others.
Overall, this is worth a listen, especially if you enjoyed their debut LP. A lot of similar sounds are carried over to The Science of Letting Go. The EP really brings a certain season and a certain place to life. Some songs could
have had more energy breathed into them, but it is successful in creating a new and unique direction for the band to go to.