Small Sins: Small Sins

Kim Kirkpatrick: I always get a little pang in my stomach when describing music by naming other bands. I suppose it could be a positive technique—might encourage you to buy new music if it was said to sound like music you already knew and liked. The consensus of reviews about Small Sins (Thomas D’Arcy) is that it sounds like The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie. Easy to hear the connection to those two intertwined musical projects, but often such "just like" comments strike me as negative, and could cause some of you to skip over Small Sins. What if you don’t like those two bands, for instance? So to pique, and I hope hold, your interest, I will throw some other names out for you: early Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark ("Electricity," "Enola Gay"), New Musik, American Analog Set (especially "The Golden Band"), Destroyer, Yo La Tengo (their slow, moody, lips-on-the-microphone songs), Spoon (D’Arcy rocks), The Beatles (the simplicity and perfection)...gak! Stop me!

My point is that Small Sins is many things—reveals a lot of influences—but the end result is, it all belongs to Thomas D’Arcy. He recorded Small Sins alone in his parents' basement using a sixteen-track recorder, various moog keyboards, a drum machine, bass, and guitar. This intelligent, bubbly music is full of catchy hooks and beautiful harmonies, and has an overall intricate layering of elements that makes it melodic, musical (not mechanical), and addictive. Small Sins has an analog warmth in the production, a personal feel in the lyrics and music that makes it a significant listen, one that will grow on you and connect in new ways with multiple listenings.

"Stay" from Small Sins

Find the man you want
He’s got all you need and more
When I go South again
He’ll be waiting at your door
And when you breathe that way
Because you want me to stay up
Count the lipstick stains
That you get on all my cups
And when the right time comes
I’ll be what you’ve grown to hate
Like your high school crush
Made you pass your papers in late
Well you can stay if you want to
But you can’t sleep in my bed
Yeah you can stay if you want to
But you can't sleep in my bed

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