Two pairs of friends—the East Coast’s Sean Scanlon (vocals and keys) and Mike Kamerman (guitar) and Oregonians Joseph Intile (bass) and Beau Kuther (drums)—met in L.A. while trying to launch music careers and formed the synth-inflected-rock quartet Smallpools. Their self-titled EP came out in 2013. And AllMusic calls their music “shimmery, Passion Pit–meets–Foster the People–inspired electro pop.” Smallpool (above, doing “Dreaming” for KROQ FM) are currently out on the road, touring with Magic Man.
Across the country in Boston, Alex Caplow (vocals), Sam Lee (guitar), Justine Bowe (keys), Daniel Radin (bass) and Joey Sulkowski (drums) have been doing work as Magic Man since 2010, using synths and a heavy dose of guitars—although initially the band was just Caplow and Lee as a duo. The group’s first album as a five-piece, Before the Waves (stream it below), arrived this past summer. AllMusic also compared Magic Man (above, performing “Texas” for Hardwick Sessions) to Passion Pit and Foster the People and labeled the LP “modern pop crafted with a decidedly retro appeal.” See Smallpools and Magic Man tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg.