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Andrew Gastelum | Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finally, The Kickback kicks back.
This is how this space should work. You, the content-hungry reader, send me, the obnoxiously giddy writer, suggestions for music that you think should be featured. I will listen to anything you send, and the favorites will make it here.
This one comes courtesy of our resident underground music scavenger (and Ad Design Manager) Sara Hillstrom (who cannot function, let alone work, without massive headphones that are descendants of those worn at NASCAR races).
You may never have heard of Smallpools, but that’s because they’re new. Not just first-release new, but they actually just formed a few months ago. Incredibly, they’ve already been invited to tour the country and have been building the buzz ever since releasing their self-titled EP in July.
The hardest thing to do with a new artist is to actually give them a real chance, believe it or not. Not too many people actively go out with a desire to sit through entire debut albums and mixtapes of bands and artists they have never heard about.
After all, that’s why you read this column.
But “Smallpools” gives you four unbelievably catchy tracks that won’t take up more than 15 minutes of your day. That is, until you hear it and want to run it back over and over again – my first listen took close to an hour.
The EP opens up with the project’s signature track, “Dreaming,” which originally vaulted the group to the masses after it was the No. 1 song on The Hype Machine, a collective music blog that gathers popular songs and reviews from just about every other music blog. If you are an audio scavenger like me, just go to that site to find your new bookmark.
But without a doubt, after listening to “Dreaming” you’ll be humming the chorus and possibly up out of your seat dancing, or at least bouncing your head, for those of us who are jitterbug-deficient.
And each song follows the same way: different tune, different words, same feeling.
Every song is a jubilant, fun-loving ode to living carefree and happy-go-lucky. If Foster the People, Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club all worked together, this would be their finished project.
As Sara told me, it’s really, really, really poppy. But there’s never anything wrong with that. If you have fun while listening to music, there shouldn’t ever be a problem. And if you have fun while listening to music, you should share it.
That’s what I’ll do here, and hopefully, it’ll be a result of what you have shared with me.