Unchanged in line-up since last featuring back in 2015, the US indie-rockers The Very Small, do however have a different sound in their latest track – Bad Ship, Good Ship.
The Very Small – Photo by Melissa Drake
The rich seam of deep texturing which has always been a feature of their music has cloaked itself with a more sadcore melancholia than music previously featured. Bad Ship, Good Ship, which was released earlier in the month, takes the listener to the Manchester (England) scene in the early ’80s.
The sweeping changes in pace, blurry edging of guitar with vocal lost in introspective contemplation delivers an approaching six minutes ever shifting soundscape in to which the listener becomes ever more immersed.
The Very Small is an alt-rock trio from Washington, District of Columbia, in the USA comprising Robin Smith (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Aaron Mann (Backing Vocals / Drums) and Zack Be (Backing Vocals / Bass / Keyboard).
The Very Small
I am minded of Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta as The Very Small cram and expand lyric inside stanza – there the similarity falls off the cliff-edge as the trio sheer far away from the theatrical to the shorn of adornment. The scantily robed sounds flicker of the elements, which for its very open spaces, gives the material a raw energy that draws in the audience.
Of particular remark are the understated keys, which far from adding sympathy are deployed to create fragility, sitting in syncopation with percussion, the notes act more as an frozen wrap for the bass. That isn’t to say that The Very Small are unable to generate melodic texture, as the guitar shimmers like an electrode betwixt the pillars of ice and it is this very coldness that makes the music so appealing. The voices combine to add a warming candle which serves to add melt water to the contexts.
The listener is left with a sense of absolute pleasure, for the very chill that rattles through the spine. There is a mysterious and icy beauty to the music of The Very Small that finds the brain wanting more.