Small Feet’s video for “Bad Science,” premiering below from the Swedish act’s sophomore album With Psychic Powers, is not exactly what group leader Simon Stalhamre intended.
Stalhamre had initially made plans with an animator friend to make a stop-motion clip for the easy-rolling art-rock track. “Then at the very last minute he got a job that paid a ton more (money), so he had to pull out,” Stalhamre tells Billboard. “It ended up with me in limbo, having to figure everything out.” Stalhamre wound up recruiting another friend, who’d never made a video before, for the low-budget treatment, which depicts him playing and singing the song amidst clouds of steam.
“We were like, ‘We have very little time and a very low budget, so let’s just try to make something simple,'” Stalhamre recalls. “We found a really good space that we liked, so we just decided to shoot it there, and we’re really happy with the way it turned out. It’s kind of very instant, and we both love smoke and slow-motion, so it was like, ‘Let’s use that and get it done’.”
Stalhamre says the With Psychic Powers album — out March 29 as the follow-up to 2015’s Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean — came from a similar kind of “frenzy…just some kind of creative spur where I started to write a bunch.” That initial burst, however, was tempered by a subsequent dissatisfaction that led to the four-year gap between releases. “I felt the words weren’t coming. What I had wasn’t as good as the melodies,” explains Stalhamre, who recorded the album at his Studio Kvastis in Stockholm. “I know it sounds banal, but I wanted to make a record that I liked, that I was proud of, and I guess that’s what everyone wants. I went back and wrote a bunch more songs and kept going until I was happy. And that was fun. It made me like doing this again.”
Playing live is next on Small Feet’s docket. The group will be on the road in Europe during April and is hatching plans for more dates — with a focus on the continent rather than North America, though Stalhamre says he hopes the band’s new deal with Barsuk Records will help make that possible, too. “When you’re a European band it’s difficult to get the visas, and it costs money — and you have to show you’re an exceptional talent, have pages of press,” Stalhamre says. “So it’s easier to just play Europe. We’re trying to get out here more and see where we can go from there. Right now it just feels good having another record coming out and more music to play for people.”