The synth-toting Brooklyn quartet Small Black sculpt sounds that owe equal debt to the melancholic melodies of darker new-wave groups (New Order, the Cure) and to the hazy burnout indifference of ’60s psychedelic bands. The group’s relaxed, gone-daddy-gone vibe originated in 2008 when one of its members recorded some songs above his uncle’s Long Island surf house, which explains its “cool brah” vocal style and pleasantly crisp keyboard noodling. And though critics have lumped Small Black in with the rest of chillwave’s blurry lo-fi synth softness (and they did in fact release a split with Washed Out), they have put out albums like 2010’s New Chain that seem more genuinely pop-focused (and memorable) than that genre’s cassette-dubbed clones. They have a new record due in May, forlornly titled Limits of Desire, so maybe tonight they’ll give concertgoers a glimpse at the acid trip to come. With fellow fuzzy-sounding friends Heavenly Beat and Imperial Topaz, plus a DJ set by Beach Fossils.
Fri., March 8, 8 p.m., 2013