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  • Kaitlyn Nicole

EP Review: "Ghost Town Road (east)" - Smallpools




Smallpools, the indie alt-pop and rock trio who have been making music for over a decade together now, have just released their new EP, "Ghost Town Road (east)" which is part one of their upcoming full-length album to be released later this year! Splitting time between Los Angeles, California and Nashville, Tennessee, lead singer Sean Scanlon, guitarist/producer Michael Kamerman, and drummer Beau Kuther have created a sound described as cenematic, anthemic, and nostalgic for this new chapter in their musical journey as a group.


TRACKLIST

Swayze

Night Shift

Fake a Happy Face!

Motorbike (Wild Ones)

Caller ID


Smallpools debuted their career together in 2013, hitting it big with their first ever single "Dreaming" which has amassed hundreds of millions of streams and is now RIAA certified gold. Soon they released their first EP, self-titled "Smallpools" and had a number of remixes for their song "Dreaming", including collaborations with names like The Chainsmokers and Charlie XCX. They've been continuously releasing music throughout the years, including three albums, one of which featured cover songs. They've also been spending most of this time touring as openers for bands like Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, and Neon Trees. In anticipation for their upcoming new album, this EP gives us an insight to what is to come and will give us a taste of the newest Smallpools era.




Swayze


"Swayze" starts off the EP with a bang. This upbeat track sounds like a song on the radio in a classic car, in the most nostalgic way possible. The production is done in a way that purposely makes "Swayze" a recording straight out of the 80's. Filled with synths and electric guitar, this is the perfect song to dance around to in the Summer time, or with the windows down as you drive around too fast in a beach town. Referencing 80's heartthrob actor, Patrick Swayze, Scanlon sings of a love that feels timeless. While the rest of the world moves on, the two of you remain the same. Check out the brand new music video for the song below!




Night Shift


Released as the leading single 3 months before the EP release, we have track number two, "Night Shift". It's another energetic and nostalgic bop of a song with lyrics that are relatable to most anybody. "Night Shift" is about living life on auto-pilot; you're stuck in a comfortable routine, but you can't help but feel like you want more out of life.


We covered "Night Shift" in depth in it's own article, which you can read here!




Fake a Happy Face!


"Fake a Happy Face" is a single that covers the topic of mental struggles and depression, but captures it in an addicting ethereal soundscape that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. After my first listen, I already had the hook replaying in my mind for the rest of the day. It's a bit of a juxtaposition, because the lyrics are relatable thoughts you have when you're stressed and going back and forth with yourself inside of your head; however, the music itself and the catchy groove make you want to dance. It's a perfect representation of when you want to be happy, but just can't quite get yourself to be. So you try to just pretend in hopes one day things will change and feel different.


"Fake a Happy Face!’ is about yearning to escape, to start over, lying in bed with the weight of the world upon you. There are so many mixed emotions that switch on a dime. Everything’s great and everything sucks. ‘Fake a Happy Face!’ and keep on cruising the best you can." - Smallpools




Motorbike (Wild Ones)


Going back to that heavily nostalgic, 80's car radio sound, we have the single "Motorbike" (Wild Ones). This song seems to tie together with the first track, "Swayze" not only in production style but in story as well. Released as the second single in anticipation for the EP, the lyrics look back on a love and a time that is long gone now, but you still find yourself reminiscing on from time to time. Just like in "Swayze", it was a type of relationship that made the rest of the world disappear. It was fun while it lasted, but now all you have left are those timeless memories. It's another synth and guitar heavy pop-rock bop with layered vocals that'll take you back.




Caller ID


The final track "Caller ID" is still upbeat, but has more of a gentle tone than the other tracks. It's a refreshing way to end the EP. It has a beautiful chord progression and an instrumentation that you can get lost in. The smooth vocals and catchy hook make for another song to easily get stuck in your head. "Caller ID" is a breakup song about that anxious feeling that comes along with seeing your ex's name pop up on your phone. Especially when you still have feelings, you're wishing that they're calling in hopes of starting over with you; but realistically, you know it's not going to be good. As the calmest track on the EP, it's a great wind-down song after all the hype from the previous tracks.




After listening to this EP in it's entirety, I am excited to hear the rest of the album that is to come! Smallpools have established their sound through-and-through, taking nostalgic components and creating something that is their own. It's an exciting era for Smallpools who clearly know how to write hit songs. Every song on this EP fits and flows together like a true work of art. It's a very upbeat collection of tracks that are easy to put on repeat. The lyrics are relatable, the music itself is catchy, the production is creative and it all comes together to create a sonically incredible project. Make sure to follow Smallpools below to keep up to date on when more new music comes out, and to see if they're coming on tour at a city near you!


Written By Kaitlyn Nicole


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*Sponsored Post - Discovered on SubmitHub. A contribution was made to help create this article as part of a promotional campaign.

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