Okay, Reader, we’re going to ask you to bear with us here for a moment and not judge this week’s featured band—LA’s Smallpools—based solely on the above promo shot. Yes, band frontman Sean Scanlon comes off as a bit smarmy with his come-hither bedroom eyes and ‘oh, did I forget to shave, again?‘ five o’clock shadow, but maybe he lost his razor…? Maybe his loving girlfriend is taking the photo and he just can’t not look at her that way, man! Maybe?

Regardless of whether the band is or is not douchey in person, we’re loving what the newcomers are doing on their recently released EP. Start-to-finish, the band comes off as polished + tight, sounding anything but newly formed (the band played their first live show last month at Brooklyn Bowl). Drawing comparisons to other keyboard-/vocal-forward indie rock bands we won’t mention in this space, Smallpools creates catchy, hook-filled songs that make it really hard to hate them, come-hither eyes and all.

Also, what’s going on off-screen at this shoot? Those guys on the left + right are super-interested in whatever it is. I think the photographer needs one of those squeaky toys they use when taking dog portraits.

Listen to this week’s Song, the excellent “Mason Jar” below, then check out the video for another great stand-out track, “Dreaming”. Again, with the video, don’t judge too quickly—what initially seems like the unapologetic glamorization of another cliché LA house party ends up being pretty clever + awesome. We swear. Plus, stellar track.

And no offense meant with regards to the work of talented photographer Dan Monick…who may or may not be dating the frontman of Smallpools.

You can hear the rest of Smallpools’ EP over on their soundcloud page + buy it via iTunes. They’ll be playing Neon Gold‘s Popshop West at The Echo in LA next Wednesday night and then hitting the road with the also excellent Walk the Moon this fall. You can see the bands full list of tour dates on their Facebook page.