Small Black


I’m still in Brooklyn
I’ve spent my whole adult life here now,
mostly with Juan and Ryan and Jeff
in the same couple of weird bedrooms and basements
watching the city mutate from a playground to an investment
Ryan and I came from Long Island,
the first suburbs in America
My mom was born there in the very first one – Levittown
My grandparents ditched Queens and hightailed it to a prefab
Robert Moses drew the grid – split the place up by race / religion / money
We shopped at chain stores we thought would never disappear,
watched the microwaves come down the conveyor belt
while the teenagers worked at Service Merchandise
smoking Merit 100s on their lunch break
The city was always right there in reach,
but nobody ever wanted to go except to see the damn Christmas tree
I thought I would get out and go far away – California – Tokyo – Tierra Del Fuego
Only made it about 20 miles
12 stops on the LIRR and a ride on the G.

We did the first EP out on the Island
in my Uncle Matt’s attic laden with surfboards and workout gear
His spirit has always been connected to the project
A few weeks after the last record came out in 2015,
he had a stroke on the beach while he was surf casting
and that was it
A good chunk of the record is about his life and how it reflects on our choice to try to live out ours as musicians
The Bridge is the first song we wrote and the lyric is written in his voice
It’s about when he couldn’t surf anymore and had to watch everyone out there while he fished
His is the voice in Driftwood Fire that “leads you from the water”

As we would listen to those early songs with him and get “tuned up” on Crystal Light & Vodka,
his surf buddies would stop by the house at odd hours,
mostly looking for a laugh or to get their board fixed up
At his memorial, before they swam his ashes into the Atlantic,
one of them passed out homemade DVDs of the Despicable Dogs video
that’s a document of his life to the whole crew
Looking at that video now, I think:
When the books are balanced and all the punchlines all delivered,
What is a life lived?

Matt was one of the only truly free people I ever met
He never had a real job – he got married for 6 months once
Just went where the waves were and we all loved him for it.

Founded in 2009 Brooklyn, Small Black were at the forefront of the chillwave scene of the early 2010s. Making their way through 3 LPS and multiple incarnations of the band, they became a touring machine across America and overseas throughout the last decade. 2021 finds them on a new label, the vaporwave upstart 100% Electronica with a brand new LP, the Long Island gothic surf epic CHEAP DREAMS, due on April 9th. Mixed by Nicholas Vernhes (War on Drugs – Deerhunter), the LP was written across sessions in NYC – Memphis – Massachusetts and recorded at the band’s home studios in Brooklyn.

Small Black is:
Ryan Heyner – Synths/Guitar/Vox
Josh Kolenik – Synths/Vox
Juan Pieczanski – Synths/Bass/Guitar
Jeff Curtin – Drums


For more information on Small Black, contact Grandstand Media:

Dana Erickson – danae@grandstandhq.com

Nick Javier – nickj@grandstandhq.com

For tour dates and more visit: www.small-black.com/

Publicity Contact: Dana Erickson


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