I had never heard of The Smallgoods before I was asked to review their new single, “Satellite”.
Once I did, I was very glad that the assignment came across my desk. Listening to the song, I was reminded of the Beatles. That may seem like too high of praise, but this band truly channels the early work of artists from that era of music. Everything from the style to the lyrics echoes a bygone era in music. It was a lovely listening experience.
“Sattelite” is reminiscent of classic soft-rock and folk from the 60s and 70s. You won’t find any incredible musical gymnastics here, but neither will you hear a note out of place. The Smallwoods know their audience and are great at what they do.
The Smallgoods are an indie-pop band from Australia (which, incidentally has been turning out some amazing musicians lately). The band specializes in soft, hummable tunes perfect for background music and laid-back parties. The band has actually been around, in one form or another, since 1999 when four brothers founded it. Since then, they have been turning our low-key hits down under and playing with some of the most notable names in indie music, such as The Shins, Ben Kweller, Josh Rouse, and The New Folk Implosion.
While they are better known in their native land, The Smallgoods’ sound is very “in” at the moment, stateside. Should they decide to try to make the leap to the US, they should have no trouble finding a serious audience.
Can you tell us your origin story? What made you form the band?
We grew up together in a small coastal town called Port Fairy, and spent a lot of time obsessing about music, whether it be top 40 music or guitar-based garage stuff. We could all sing, and play instruments. It was bound to happen.
What is your writing process like for new songs?
Some are almost fully formed when presented to the band, some are collaborative, and some are luckily gifted to us when we make an offering by a blood moon to the swamp witch.
What inspires you to write?
I really don’t know. Sentimentality. Deadlines. Mis-heard melodies being played by passing cars. Landscapes. Carnival eeriness.
What was your process like for “Satellite”?
It was an almost-fully-formed structure and melody that had been in my head for years. The words were written in about an hour in bed one morning during the recording of our album ‘Lost in The Woods’. The band then went and made it sound good.
What inspired you to write this song?
Something about the modern clash between infinite opportunity and insurmountable despair or something…
What was the most challenging part of writing this song?
Keeping it under 4.5 minutes.
What instrument do you wish you could play?
What instrument do you like playing the most?
Actually piano, but I’m terrible at it.
What has been the best experience in the industry thus far?
Meeting and working with awesome talented people from all over the planet
Losing the majority of an album to hard-disk malfunction.
What are you listening to now?
Body Type. They’re like a scuzzy cross between the Go-go’s and early Cure. Really fucking delicious.
Who would you love to collaborate with that you haven’t gotten to work with yet?
Uhhm, Jeff Lynne?
What would you be doing if you weren’t in the industry?
Probably making wine. Or working as a public servant.
Is there any “Big goal” you still want to accomplish in the industry?
Outdo Nik Kershaw’s record for total number of chord changes in a single song.
Where do you see the band in five years?
Coming to the end of a ridiculous creative streak that has created 7 albums in 4 years, and simultaneously reviving the fortunes of Laser Disk as a viable physical means of releasing music.