You Sing, I Write: Artist of the Week: April Smith

Monday, January 12, 2009

Artist of the Week: April Smith

I first stumbled upon April Smith's music during CMJ week in October when I met her publicist, who then gave me two of her most recent EP's. Throughout CMJ Smith kept showing up wherever I went — whether it was her EP on display in a cute coffee shop right off of Ludlow Street or just overhearing her name mentioned by other concertgoers.

While at first Smith reminds me of a mix of Australian songstress Sia and English singer Duffy, there is something quite unique about her. Her EP, The Great Picture Show is a carnival-esque blend of quirkiness, but seemingly classic music all at the same time. Smith's MySpace page describes her music much better than I ever could: "Her music is like this: combine the dramatic presence of Freddie Mercury, melodic sweetness of Buckley, range and power of Ann Wilson, smoky sarcasm of Tom Waits, and the ornate imagination of Michel Gondry and you’re getting close. Sounds good, we know. We call it vocally-driven-cinemelodic rock (for short)."

On MySpace you can listen to "Terrible Things" which has an eerie organ-like introduction reminiscent to something you might hear during Halloween. Quickly, Smith segways into a more jazzy vibe while singing, "All of the things that I've done/Terrible things you would never believe/The things that I've done." Extremely catchy, just one listen begs for more.

"Color" exemplifies the diversity of Smith's music. A fun number with kazoo accompaniment, it's a danceable track with hand-clapping rhythm. "Wow and Flutter" may be the most fun track with Smith intertwining lines from infamous 80s Dead or Alive hit, "You Spin Me Round" with a much slower, jazzy take that works incredibly well for her.

Do yourself a favor and check out April Smith. She's currently on tour and I've heard only great things about her live show. I plan on checking it out for myself. Visit April Smith on MySpace.

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