Artist Spotlight

Review: Supersmall, “This Other World”

1 Comment 10 September 2013

Review: Supersmall, “This Other World”

“Dempsey and Schiller make a compelling duo; a very organic and natural partnership of storytellers whose lyrical content shine among these seven well-crafted songs.”

Artist: Supersmall

Release: This Other World

Genre: Acoustic Folk / Roots Rock

RIYL: The Head and the Heart, Avett Bros., Colin Hay

Supersmall This Other World

What do you get when you cross an Irish singer-songwriter with an Israeli drummer? In addition to a colossally interesting heritage of sounds and storytelling, you get Supersmall. This New York-based duo is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Colin Dempsey and percussionist Daniela Schiller. This Other World is their debut album, and what a strong start they have made together.

The title track opens the album, and it’s a wonderfully accessible song with instant appeal. Dempsey’s voice, especially on this tune, reminds a bit of Colin Hay with a warm and distinct character that just lights up on top of a simple, solid melody. “Blue Skies (The End)” begins to introduce a mystical edge after the very pop-driven opening track; filling out the sound with a lush keyboard. “Goodbye Old Friend,” however, pulls the direction back to a more straight-ahead lyrical folk composition. It’s a solid track, one of the best on the record, and definitely a song you could hear on a great indie soundtrack and one that will translate especially well to live performance.

“Everywhere” has a slightly jazzier sensibility, the vocal interplay with the instrumentation and some harder transitions bringing an unexpected turn here and there. It was more difficult to pin this one down within the confines of the record, running almost into a prog-rock feeling. Immediately following is “Wherever We Are,” a tune that factors in the keyboard much more prominently, lending a vintage vibe.

“This Grenade Will Love You” definitely hones in on a more classic folk sound, with percussive beats powering the song forward between a forceful and relentless acoustic guitar. Schiller’s percussion work, while incredibly meticulous but full of personality throughout the album, really does take the driver’s seat both here and on the final, hidden track. That track, “Fireworks,” is the most curious of the entire set of songs. At first, it felt like a grand departure, but as it settled in, it reminded of some of the more complex Avett Bros. work or even a Woody Guthrie. It’s something like…folk-punk? Yes. It’s full of energy, and works really well. In fact, I wanted even more of it.

Supersmall are a big talent. Dempsey and Schiller make a compelling duo; a very organic and natural partnership of storytellers whose lyrical content shine among these seven well-crafted songs. There is an effortless and timeless quality to the material included on This Other World, showing a wealth of potential for the duo to push themselves a little further out of the folk pocket and edge into a more focused direction in the future. There are glimpses of brilliance here, enough that I’m intrigued to find out where those influences lead them on their next record.


Supersmall website: http://supersmallmusic.com/

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One Comment

  1. Niall says:

    Great album, really enjoyable. Highly recommend.


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