A match made in musical heaven, LA indie pop group Smallpools and likeminded Brooklyn duo Great Good Fine Ok are on the road for a co-headlining run, which brings them to Nashville’s own Exit/In tonight, June 1, along with up and coming LA alt rock act Half the Animal. Both headliners are no strangers to Music City, with Smallpools have passed through last fall and GGFO the year prior, but there’s something about their pairing that’s hard to beat, especially if you love unabashedly poppy, synth-drenched hooks. Both groups seem due for new records too, so expect some fresh tunes! You can still grab tickets here (though at writing, the site is down due to technical difficulties- plan to buy them at the door if that isn’t resolved), and you can read on for more about the show.
After years of playing together in various projects in the New York area, guitarist Mike Kamerman and singer Sean Scanlon decided to get serious about forming a new band, opting to make the move to Los Angeles where they met bassist Joe Intile and drummer Beau Kuther, forming Smallpools in 2013. That spring, the group debuted their first single, “Dreaming,” which promptly shot to #1 on the TheHypeMachine, and earned praise throughout the blogosphere, earning the band a deal with RCA ahead of their eponymous debut. Hitting the road with acts like The Mowgli’s, Walk The Moon, Two Door Cinema Club, and Twenty One Pilots, Smallpools have continued to rise as a prominent new fixture in the indie pop scene, and their 2015 debut full-length, LOVETAP!, spawned several more singles that scored major placements, radio, and blog love. More recently, Smallpools have been independently releasing a string of new material, further exploring new sonic territory and returning to their roots with a catchy, remix friendly, and electro-laced sound. and packed tour schedule. They’re due for a new album, after last year’s The Science of Letting Go EP, so there’s a solid chance you’ll hear some fresh tunes along with fan favorites.
GREAT GOOD FINE OK
The rise of duo Great Good Fine Ok mirrors Smallpools’ in many ways, making them not only a musically well-suited co-headliner, but a personal one as well. Also formed in 2013, by vocalist Jon Sandler and producer/keyboard player Luke Moellman, who also met in Brooklyn, the band exist in the same synth-drenched, indie pop sphere, and also hit #1 on TheHypeMachine with their early first single, “You’re the One for Me,” earning them a swift audience and widespread buzz. Even more electronic and production-geared than Smallpools, GGFO dropped their first EP, Body Diamond, in 2013, soon attracting the attention of Neon Gold and Epic Records, and making their debut at SXSW. The group have released two more EPs since, along with a prolific string of singles, remixes, covers, and collaborations (including a spot with breakout group The Chainsmokers), all the while amassing millions of plays, sustained buzz, numerous festival appearances, and tours with the likes of Tove Lo, Joywave, X Ambassadors, Betty Who, Penguin Prison, and more. Smallpools fans are sure to love them and vice versa, and GGFO, too, are due for a new record, so they’re bound to keep things fresh.
HALF THE ANIMAL
With pop accessibility, big hooks, and anthemic, alternative sensibilities, LA up and comers Half the Animal are more than up to the task of kicking this show off. If they look familiar, that’s because singer Chase Johnson and drummer Nick Gross were previously in Open Air Stereo, a band the lifelong friends formed in high school, which subsequently rose to notoriety thanks to their involvement in aughts MTV hit reality show Laguna Beach. Last year, the two reconnected, opting to take the independent path to honing their latest project, rounded out by Dan Graham and Max Benson. With last year’s debut EP, Shapes, Half the Animal are well on their way to drumming up a respectable amount of buzz, and after a tour last fall with Atlas Genius, they’re a great compliment to this lineup. Show up early and see what they’re all about!
Smallpools, Great Good Fine Ok, and Half the Animal will perform tonight, June 1 at Exit/In. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $18.