reppin: chicago, usa // secretly canadian records // 2015 - present
sounds like: cruising in your cadillac...bright lights, big city and chill - 45ish years ago
last album drop: light upon the lake (june 2016)
featuring: max kakacek // julien ehrlich // josiah marshall // will miller // malcolm brown // print chouteau // charles glanders
I’ll admit it, I get a little teary eyed when bands break up, almost as much as the real deal break up in life with that girl or guy. In the winter of 2011, The Smith Westerns garage rock sound blew up after years in the local scene and almost as quickly broke up. But sometimes, that can bloom into newer things...a brand new sound, style and direction in this situation. It also gets me a little cozy inside knowing the spectrum of genres that influence Chicago musicians. Well hello there Whitney, pleasure to meet you. Versatie and talented musicians, Max and Julien (who was also drummed for the mind-blowing Unknown Mortal Orchestra) were roomies in Chicago when their new baby was born. They combined their songwriting skills with julien taking vocals and their baby immediately grew to an adult and gave birth to the song “no matter where to go” (cause it would be weird if a baby gave birth..that’s just redundant). Last year they mainly played Chicago and a bit beyond while writing and writing. It was then time to hook up with Jonathan Rado (Foxygen) to record their debut, light upon the lake. Kids, this is nothing like the rock they were playing before...again, evolution!
Tracks are usually under 5 minutes for a reason...the attention span of us ever distracting humans, the radio and the good ol’ formula of writing a song. This is not the same under 5 minutes sort of thing in my opinion. Maybe projects before this for these guys were driven for different reasons...when we are young we sure as fuck have no idea what we want. The combination of julien’s light vocals over that bluegrass guitar, brass coming in here and there sprinkled with blues solos...it says more than just a song. This pop, vintage sound rooted in soul and rock may look weird on paper, but it is so uniquely crafted. The album tells a story and it is proof to how quickly they are finding themselves in making music.
suggested listening experience: headin somewhere on any types of wheels // when you are trying to kick it with your dad who only listens to AM radio // early start to the day