From the ashes of The Black Marble Selection have risen The Small Breed. After The Black Marble selection quit making music early this year after 6 years together, the members went on to form The Small Breed. The Netherlands based quintet are releasing their first 4 track EP today, December 7th. And brace yourselves, dear readers, because it’s the best release I’ve heard all year.
The self titled EP opens with “Bellis Perennis (What’s In A Name)”, a madly brilliant mix of Sergeant Pepper and Syd Barrett with dizzying backwards effects, circus style organs, and loads of psychedelia. The slow, trippy verses paired with the sunshine-y sing along chorus is just right, and the ragtime piano outro polishes the song off perfectly.
“A Leap in Time” is ultra-groovy, with it’s flute and sexy latin grooves- it’s reminiscent of Santana when they were still good. The farfisa solo near the end of the song is on fire, and I love the tightness of the ending.
“One of A Kind” sounds quite Kinks-esque, with its crisp guitar tones and shuffle beat. The song is short and sweet 60s pop, but still has incredible dimension to it- a backwards bridge, horn section, reverberating vocals, and just beautiful arrangement.
The EP ends with “Theory of Mind-The Prompter”- a 9 minute psych masterpiece. That’s a big statement, but this song is truly incredible. We’re talking Beatles level writing here. A George Harrison esque sitar intro kicks of the song, and sitar features prominently thoughout the first half of the song. The mix of sitar with fuzz guitar, driving bass, horns, strings- the production and arrangement here is amazing. The song builds and builds, and then, halfway through, fades out….and completely changes. The song becomes dark, baroque, with more backwards effects, theramin, heavy bass, and loads of harpsichord. It is SO cool I can barely stand it. Around 7 and a half minutes the song builds to an almost prog-rock wall of sound, which continues to its end. It’s the sort of song you need a minute to recover after.
The amount of work that clearly went into this EP is astounding. The Small Breed went for something very ambitious here, and they fucking nailed it. I’ve heard a lot of music this year, but this is in my opinion, the best release of 2018. Take 17 minutes out of your day and go listen to it right now.
Get the album here.
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Written By Sheena Salazar for POW Magazine