Small Million's new single, "Bullets in the Bower," starts off as an a cappella folk ballad. Frontwoman Malachi Graham delivers the pastoral opening lyrics in her powerful twang: "There's bullets in the bower/Where you and I entwine/Like willow and the flower/We soon will leave behind." Then, the synths kick in. Produced by Ryan Linder, Small Million's other half, the electronic instrumentation builds from just a bassy rumble to a full-on dance anthem backed by drum machine and an EDM-indebted synth hook.
"Bullets in the Bower" is the lead single from Small Million's new EP, Young Fools, which the duo will self-release this week. Since they formed a few years ago, the Portland duo have been steadily building local hype for their effortless fusion of synth pop and roots music. But Small Million isn't a crossover gimmick. For Graham, Small Million is a way to defy the superficial expectations of genre. "Sometimes there are some tropes of a girl with the guitar and some limitations there," she says. "So to get to work with Ryan and really just blow the lid off is such a treat."
Read more at Willamette Week:
Portland's Small Million are at it again with the forthcoming Young Fools, an EP comprised of twilit melodies and passionate, layered lyrics and vocals. The synthpop duo's sound is innovative and darkly captivating, capable of pulling audiences in with pop-accessible hooks only to keep them around for the scintillating stories and sounds that come with them. Richly emotive and produced, Ryan Linder and Malachi Graham's latest Small Million venture is set to release on 12 October.
"Bullets in the Bower" and "Outro (Cathedral)" are the two tracks that comprise the end of Young Fools. The finesse with which the two separate arrangements are so seamlessly blended is impressive in itself, let alone within the interpretive story Small Million tells in the midst of it all. Washed by ethereal yellow lighting, song and dance come together in this nebulous audiovisual journey to explore the profundity of impassioned lyrics meshed with an interpretative presentation.
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Asked about “Sirens,” Graham said “I wanted to retell the traditional mythology of seductive sirens luring sailors to their death from an angle where the sirens don’t give a fuck about the men and are in love with each other.
Read more and listen to the third single off Young Fools EP at Substream Magazine:
"Young Fools is about the deep friendships you make when you have ‘nothing better to do,’ and yearning for the dumb parties and late night conversations I had with my friends in college."
Read more and listen to the title single off Young Fools EP at OPB Music: