FEATURE: Steve Smyth
By Alana Mazurke
Last week Steve Smyth released his new album Exits to acclaimed reception from critics. The debut features already released singles ‘Shake It’ and ‘Written or Spoken’ as well as nine brand new tracks all recorded live in Echo Park, LA.
“A lot of the tunes are all very diverse in their stories but it’s the underlying tales that try to bring them all together.”
Listening to the album you get a great sense of consideration to the arrangement of each song; there’s present day notoriety in listening to an album start to finish as it’s rarely done and yet Exits beckons listeners to do just that. “Trying to achieve that…the industry is very fast and very single orientated and that was the last thing that was on my mind making this record. I really tried delving as deep as I could into the two elements – on one hand there’s this raw and gritty, quite bluesy side of things and then click to the next tune and its straight into something tender and careful and more fragile.”
2012 saw the release of Smyth’s’ debut album Release which he states was an extremely humbling time for him as a musician. Two years on and his modesty continues with an almost disbelief in peoples admiration to his music. “It’s a great opportunity; that’s the first thing…which is being fortunate enough to be able to make another record and then it’s nice that there are people excited about it too.” Whilst the pressure of following up a commended album with a second LP can be felt, Smyth seems to take it on the chin. His lack of arrogance and abundance of praise toward everyone bar himself when making Exits makes the album all that more perplexed. Yet Smyth summons up perfectly just what really sets the new release apart from his back catalogue. “…I think even if I did re-record the last album it would be completely different in the sense that times moves on and changes the person you are. You don’t know what kind of record gets made until it’s done; you can go in with all these pre conceptions but it’ll slap you across the face and tell you exactly when it’s going to be its own beast.”
“I’m taking every opportunity I can…I don’t know where I am and it’s been like that for quite some time. Home is the road and I’m happy about that.”
If you had any doubts about catching Steve Smyth live, not to worry. He’s playing over 30 shows over the next few months touring the new album. “The amount of shows…there’s so many places. More shows are getting added even! I’m not going to stop until I look after everybody. I’ve tried to stay out of the capitals to the out of the way places; giving the album to Australia first before jumping back overseas.” Showcasing his alternate indie tunes all over Australia begged the question of how exactly he was planning on keeping up with it all and whether he would play the new album from start to finish… “I think it’d be unfair if I didn’t play tunes from the last album, I haven’t really ironed out all the creases on the show and the tracks are never finite or definite. It takes away the spontaneity of the live shows; if it falls flat on its ass or if it takes off it’s nice to create the element of when we’re all in the same room whatever happens, happens.” Steve Smyth will play Shebeen bandroom in Melbourne Saturday 11th October.
You can purchase the new album Exits here.
Tickets and details to shows available here.