New Music Monday: Small Feet
Small Feet will release their debut album Friday, August 7th, 2015. Titled From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like the Ocean, the record will be released through Barsuk. Small Feet is the project of Swedish musician Simon Stålhamre, though it took encouragement from American ex-pat Jacob Snavely to get Stålhamre to focus on his music. Before the band recorded their debut, the Swede had already worked as a nurse, a fly-poster, and at a cafe.
Having dropped out of school at fifteen, Stålhamre learned English through television as he began to build up a catalogue of songs. However, the songwriter found himself becoming consistently more reclusive and reluctant to share his music. It took Snavely’s encouragement and the inheritance of a cabin in central Stockholm to give Stålhamre the kick he needed to properly record and release his music. Finally encouraged, Stålhamre got Snavely to play bass on the record and recruited drummer Christopher Cantillo to round out the trio.
Given the story leading up to From Far Enough Away’s release, listeners might expect a dark, dour record from Stålhamre and company, but Small Feet provide nothing of the sort. It is not as if there is no darkness to be found on From Far Enough Away, but it reveals itself less as an overbearing feeling and a place the band has left. It provides a backdrop to Small Feet’s music, never quite becoming the theme of the music.
Stålhamre’s voice, reminiscent of Neil Young or Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, may be the most powerful tool in Small Feet’s arsenal to lift the band from any gloom otherwise found in the songs. The Swede has a powerful voice that uses he to lead the listener through From Far Enough Away as delicate melodies.
After a serious time of doubt for Stålhamre, Small Feet’s From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like the Ocean is a self-assured debut and a sign of good things to come from the songwriter.