What You Got is absolute melodic sunshine with a hint of frustration seeping through. A little bit dance and very alt-pop, the juxtaposition of Sydney artist SMALLS‘ vocals against the sparkling production of this track creates his unique point of difference.

SMALLS (a.k.a. Will Robinson) describes his cure for boredom in a drought-stricken rural NSW town as ‘pick[ing] up an instrument and try[ing] to smash out Metallica covers on a nylon string acoustic’. It’s exactly that determination to tear down music cliches and ignore the barriers of commonality that shines through in his latest track What You Got.

Mirroring the alt-pop vibes of the likes of 1975 and the smoothness of LANY, SMALLS has dipped into the best of these charismatic influences to create a lush tribute to ’80s power pop and ’90s angsty vocals. Produced and mixed by Lewis Mitchell (Birds of Tokyo, The Jezeabels, Kota Banks), and mastered by Ben Feggans (Mallrat, Vera Blue, Sampa The Great), What You Got exhibits that really zesty and clean sound that allows SMALLS’ vocals to bend and shift freely over the top.

While SMALLS sings of wandering the streets late at night, his tone matches the buoyancy of feeling a bit foolish under the shadow of night while also a bit frustrated at the twists and turns of life. Eager to please and jumping through hurdles to connect with people, while also determined to stay true to your own sense of self and fun – it’s a bubble of loneliness we’ve all felt before.

Moving to a new city is scary. I’ve known friends who have relocated to new places during peak covid and really struggled to make friends and feel a sense of connection. This song is about how much we rely on other people’s actions to make us feel connected or appreciated. I wanted to write a song that captured city nightlife and dance floor anthems while not letting go of the 80s/90s nostalgia in the production.

Will Robinson (SMALLS)

Stream What You Got below:

Posted by Rebecca Costanzo