By the time, LA band, Smallpools hit the stage; the energy of the crowd was at a high, ready to go. With an of-the-moment sound constantly compared to bands such as Mgmt, Passion Pit and Foster For The People, Smallpools fronted by Sean Scanlon with Jon Intile on bass, Beau Kuther on drums, and Mike Kamerman on guitars, nailed their all-too-short set with their danceable electro-pop, buoyed by Scanlon’s helium-pitched vocals.
Scanlon and Kamerman moved from NY to LA and their hits have LA sunshine and optimism in buckets. No doubt, in part because they were writing initially for other artistes and have felt liberated to finally pen songs for themselves. After hooking up with Kuther and Intile who had moved from Oregon, the foursome trekked to Atlanta to record their four-song, debut EP that was released in July.
They sing “Mason Jar”, “No Story Time” and “Over and Over” off their self-titled EP. A freshly-penned, "Hope" also gets a listen, followed by a crowd-pleasing cover of “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals. Before closing with their big indie hit, “Dreaming” Scanlon admitted “we don’t have enough songs for a full album yet” but seemed genuinely happy to be singing for the Popscene crowd inviting them to come say hello at the merch stand post-show. The love was mutual as everyone on the floor was locked in a collective bop to the infectious pop beat of one of San Francisco’s indie Summer anthems.
It’s a fortunate problem to have a breakout hit before you have even an EP, never mind an album. But Scanlon shows solid songwriting talent and with any luck more touring experience will lend a rounded first album when the time comes. Each song was easy to listen and the band was great fun to watch on stage, if only for their boundless energy.
By now, the first band, Cloud Control was a memory, like a fun if not awkward kiss at the time but a sweet memory now. And, perhaps an unfair comparison as Savoir Adore have labored five years over their sound while Smallpools have not penned a full album, but Savoir Adore had me at hello and it was their tunes that I took to in somnolence.
But waking up the next morning… that’s a different story. Wait, I can almost hear that delish guitar lick “oh no, please god, tell me we're Dreaming”.
With much thanks to Aaron Axelsen.