Premiere: Doll Spirit Vessel’s Relaxing, Dreamy Sophomore Single “Something Small”

Doll Spirit Vessel © Doll Spirit Vessel
Doll Spirit Vessel © Doll Spirit Vessel
Philadelphia indie rock trio Doll Spirit Vessel invite us to relax and turn inward on their sophomore single “Something Small,” a hazy and tranquilizing daydream.
Stream: “Something Small” – Doll Spirit Vessel



It felt similar to how trying to remember my past sometimes can feel, like I’m grasping for something I both know is there and know I won’t find.

I won’t reach into the past; instead I’ll let what may fall into my lap,” sings Doll Spirit Vessel’s Kati Malison, channeling a calm temperament on her band’s second single. “Fall afternoon, that’s my best friend’s laugh in the next room.” The musical manifestation of taking a deep breath in, holding it as the air fills your lungs, and then slowly exhaling, the dreamy and lush “Something Small” is a tranquil meditation on slowing down and relaxing; on letting life be what it will be rather than worrying all the time; on not forcing a square peg into a round hole.

What Stays - Doll Spirit Vessel
What Stays – Doll Spirit Vessel
As I said, I have so few memories of it
Don’t show me the picture,
I don’t want to see it at all

Running fast makes the
feeling pass more quickly to the next
It could be something small,
something small

Wouldn’t have to solve it all,
wouldn’t have to find the circle

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Doll Spirit Vessel’s second single “Something Small,” taken from the band’s forthcoming debut album What Stays, out August 12, 2022 via Disposable America. The Philadelphia-based trio of Kati Malison, Max Holbrook, and Lewis Brown debuted just last month with “Train Brain Rot,” a captivating indie rock song full of rollicking grooves, angular guitar licks, stirring, emotive vocals.

“Something Small” is decidedly dreamier in nature, with its slower beat and hypnotic, reverb-laden guitar creating a summery sun-drenched beach vibe. A welcome haze, the song invites us all to take a step back from our bustling lives and find our inner peace: A state of balance and bliss.

Doll Spirit Vessel © DM Brown
Doll Spirit Vessel © Doll Spirit Vessel

“I think it’s pretty common for songwriters to want to express something specific or profound through a particular song, and that does happen, but you often can’t decide what’s there at the surface and ready to come out,” Doll Spirit Vessel’s songwriter and lead vocalist Kati Malison explains. “‘Something Small’ came about a couple of summers ago when I was doing a song-a-day project with some friends – the day before I wrote it I had really toiled over an old song shard, trying to make it something it wasn’t ever going to be. It felt similar to how trying to remember my past sometimes can feel, like I’m grasping for something I both know is there and know I won’t find. ‘Something Small’ is the answer and antidote to that frustration.”

Malison’s lyrics find her yearning for that inner calm and composure; “running fast makes the feeling pass more quickly to the next,” she sings in the first verse, leading to the chorus’ mantra, “It could be something small… wouldn’t have to solve it all.”

I won’t reach into the past
Instead I’ll let what may fall into my lap
Fall afternoon, that’s my best friend’s laugh in the next room
Kati Malison © Morganne Boulden
Kati Malison © Morganne Boulden

Doll Spirit Vessel’s accompanying music video invariably captures the spirit of “Something Small.” Made by Malison along with Jon Cox, Veronica Magner, Priyanka Padidam, and Mark Morley, the visual stars Malison’s dog, while also creating a sensation of space, ease, and circular motion. Interspersed about a primary shot of the dog playing with a large ball in an open cemetery, we see Malison spinning on a playground merry-go-round, a light bulb being screwed in, a hamster in a ball, globe spinning ’round, a basketball twirling on a finger, and so on… It’s a lightly dizzying experience, and one that simultaneously captures the weight of needing things to be perfect and just as you want them to be, and the act of relinquishing said weight and letting things be.

“My dog’s favorite activity is herding playballs, and I thought it would be fitting to capture the simultaneous playfulness and intensity of her playing with them for the ‘Something Small’ video. After spending so much time and energy on the video for the first DSV single, I kept insisting this one would be simpler. But when we all got together to plan for the shoot, a whole world organically emerged for the song. We started by brainstorming cyclical things and then thought of all the ways we could have them invade each other’s space.”

It could be something small,
something small

Wouldn’t have to solve it all,
wouldn’t have to find the circle

“Something Small” doesn’t set out to solve the world’s problems, nor does it try to be a massive arena-sized anthem. Doll Spirit Vessel’s second single is unassuming, immersive, and achingly emotive: An intoxicating indie rock daydream ready to be the soundtrack to our relaxation. Stream “Something Small” exclusively on Atwood Magazine.

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Stream: “Something Small” – Doll Spirit Vessel



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What Stays - Doll Spirit Vessel

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