Small Crush – s/t (Asian Man Records, 2019)

Small Crush are a 4-piece indie-pop band out of the Oakland / Berkeley area of northern California. Remarkably, two members are still in high school, and the other 2 just literally graduated from high school. These cats are crazy young. I mean, I just turned 42 a couple of days back, but this just makes me feel positively ancient. In another anecdote, I was out for drinks with my mate Neil the other day, and there was this guy outside the pub in a Descendents t-shirt, wearing an “I am 30” button. I was all “duuuuuuude, I feel old as fuuuuuuck. I saw Descendents when you were 5 years old”. Depressing.

Anyway, Mike Park of Asian Man Records hit me up the other day, asking me to check out Small Crush. Obviously I obliged, particularly as I’ve been enjoying the output of Ogikubo Station so much, and this sounded from his description (super-dreamy indie pop, since you ask) like it might broadly fit within that same bracket.

So, as I write this, it’s the 31st July, and yet another day of downpours. It’s gloomy as all hell out there. Putting this on, I feel like my whole world has been illuminated by some transcendent ray of light from the heavens. I guess it’s the hazy, sunny way that these songs are projected. It belies the somewhat downbeat nature of the subject matter (relationships, not fitting in, mental health, social awkwardness etc.).

Soundwise, the obvious pointers here for me are stuff like Ogikubo Station, Lemuria, Jenny Lewis’ time with Rilo Kiley, Death Cab for Cutie, Tommy and June, and Belle and Sebastian – that kind of thing, with maybe a touch of The Moldy Peaches. I suppose you could call it a bit twee. Probably because it is, but sometimes that’s what you need a splash of in your life – right now I’m feeling pretty blessed.

Tony of Nurgle rating 9/10

You can jam the record on the bandcamp player below:

You can pick this up from the Asian Man Records webstore on random split coloured LP or CD.

Listen to more from Small Crush on their bandcamp page

Find out more on the Small Crush Facebook page

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, recently returned to Yorkshire and residing in Leeds (after close to a decade living in exile in Croydon and South East London). He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also several years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - next event at Retro in Manchester on 07/09/2019. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, occasionally skateboarding, always exhausted, often reading books with maps in the front.

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