New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth the exclusive video premiere of “Palm Fronds” by Small Crimes. The track is off of the previously released record, Demons. The track’s dreamy soundscape is full of graceful waves of ambiance. The vocals float through the atmosphere, being guided by the echos pinging through the beat. This is a relaxing tune to decorate the ears with, and now has a visually appealing aesthetic in a music video to go along. Watch below!
“Shot in the California Delta, the themes of ‘Palm Fronds’ are temptation, escape, addiction, friendship, homecoming and survival. In the forming of Small Crimes, vocalist Keri Mendonça and multi-instrumentalist Guy Culver bonded over the experience of isolation and longing coming from rural Northern California upbringings; both grappling with the choice between staying or getting the hell out, navigating the relationships we’ve kept around or had to shed to survive, the ugliness and beauty of small town life amidst current circumstances and crisis, and the dangerous allure to the sketchy underbelly of life that has taken kindreds from us and threatened to pull us under from time to time. Having worked in the Bay Area film industry for the past three years Mendonça, along with director/editor Jody Stillwater, pulled together a dream team of skilled film friends to crew the vision, attempting to capture and celebrate the serene and unique mysticism of a secluded levee at sundown.
Small Crimes, now a trio with the addition of bassist Cris Sanchez, are currently recording a four song EP with engineer Michael Nano Solorzano in Oakland, CA.”
Small Crimes is an experimental three-piece from Oakland, California comprised of Guy Culver (ex-Religious Girls) as samples manipulator and song visionary, Keri Mendonça as lead vocalist, and Cris Sanchez as bass guitarist. The unit weaves distorted film and television samples, piano sonatas, and Keri’s sobering and subterranean singing.
Keri and Guy began Small Crimes in 2015 when they met at a mutual friend’s BBQ in Oakland. They quickly recognized in each other a mutual love for Björk and for creating anything murky, weird, and anything that could be potentially classified as “ugly.” So, Small Crimes was conceived, the name chosen as an empathic nod to harmless yet seedy moments of true human form.
Their working cadence is simple: Guy cuts up samples from The Twilight Zone, the Alfred Hitchcock hour, and Shelley Duval screaming in The Shining — often incorporating trip-hop or sometimes footwork beats — and Keri sends back long howling, growling vocal experiments, both slowly building on the other’s vision. Vocals in Guy’s samples are often distorted into Anonymous recognition. Neither shy away from creating harmony within unsettling compositions.
Their sound burrows deep into the irrationality of feeling safer in illegal spaces. They strive for a scenic rush of actions that can only exist outside of polite society: women who spit, cigarettes smoked indoors, subway turnstiles jumped. Yet lyrically they caution against the spiral sucking nature of addiction, whether chemically-induced or selfie craving sabotage. This tension of exploring the lengths someone will go to find “home” in commonly uncomfortable scenarios is what makes Small Crimes so disarmingly relatable.
After a few years of honing their sound and playing Bay Area shows, Guy and Keri released Small Crimes’ first EP, Demons, in 2017. Cris then joined the duo as bass guitarist to provide more depth to their live performances.