Smallpools is one of those bands that manages to give me chills no matter how many times I listen to them, their debut LP LOVETAP! (iTunes | Amazon) being no different. Chock full of heavy synths, the unique high vocals of frontman Sean Scanlon, tantalizing guitars, and punchy drumbeats, Smallpools will capture your attention and probably even your heart.
The record starts off with an immediate toe-tapping beat on “American Love” that’s sure to have you bouncing along in your seat with the handclaps, tinkling guitar chords, and throbbing synths. From there we head straight into their single “Killer Whales” where the synth once again kicks in and Scanlon grabs your heart with his charming vocals. Popular track “Dreaming” is the epitome of Smallpools’ original, earth-shattering sound—if this song doesn’t make you jump out of your seat and dance around the room then there might not be any hope for you at all. A burst in energy and confidence comes along in “Street Fight” as Scanlon croons, “Caught in a street fight/You need a lifeline/Go on and use me/I’ll be your Bruce Lee.” With lyrics like that, you’ll feel like you can take on the world (maybe in a dance battle anyway). By the time you reach the titular track, you might think their energy has to fade out at least a little bit, but that’s where you’re wrong—it’s a sexy track full of “woah-oh-oh’s,” enticing guitar licks, and a time stopping breakdown.
The album hops seamlessly through different styles, at times sounding like Vampire Weekend with tracks like “9 to 5” and other times providing blow-out, anthemic jams like “Dyin’ to Live.” With an almost two year gap between their self-titled EP (iTunes) and LOVETAP!, Smallpools had plenty of time to perfect their album, and it’s no surprise that each song is so spot-on.