Smith & Thell have been on the pop scene for a while, but mostly behind the scenes with songwriting and production credits. Now, they have their first full length album coming out in May and a new single February which released recently.
Check out our review of the single, plus a quick chat interview with Smith and Thell as they talk melancholia, experiences working with other artists, and what they have planned for 2017.
With a big dose of melancholia, February tracks the emotions of a growing separation between loved ones. February is cold and dreary in Stolkholm, and the winter blues that come on are shown so well in this song with a depth I didn’t expect from something poppy. There was an ethereal quality to the vocals that I really loved here, and it melded beautifully with the quiet, simple style of the song. Sometimes when reviewing music you come across new favourites, and this was certainly one of those times.
Their debut album ‘Soulprints’ will be out May 12, but for now check out the video for their single!
We also had time to sit down and chat which you can check out below!
Tell me about yourselves – how did you come together as Smith & Thell?
We met in our hometown of Helsingborg i Southern Sweden as teenagers at a show that I (Maria) was playing. I sang some songs acoustic, and Victor liked what he heard so he contacted me on MySpace after the show and asked me if i wanted to start a band, since he played drums. We have stuck together in various ways since then and were crazy enough to stick with music over getting a formal education. We will be playing music “until we grow old.” Being adventurous and taking risks sometimes works, and we’re happy this one did.
You’ve worked together with many other artists as well. How did you translate those experiences into your own album which is releasing soon?
We learn something from every artist we get in the studio with. We wouldn’t be able to make our music sound exactly the way we want if we hadn’t been working in the studio writing and producing various songs in various genres for the artists we write for. Making our own music is very liberating though. Smith & Thell is our “play time” where we sing about all of our own personal thoughts and experiences that we need to put into songs that couldn’t be sung by anyone else. These songs are hardly ever written in an actual studio. They seem to come to us in our daily lives and whenever we let go of being the channel other artists emotions. Being a songwriter for others is almost like being a shrink. And once in a while we have to “shrink” ourselves which is when we might pop out a Smith & Thell song.
Your single February is quite melancholy, where did those feelings come from and what made you want to translate that into your song?
That song was one of those fast ’10 min and then done’ songs. We were quite low, things hadn’t been going how we wanted it for a few months and it was just dark, grey and gross weather in Stockholm. I guess all those words needed to get out of our system. The song is almost so depressing it becomes funny. That’s one thing I think people that listen to us will get to know more and more about, which is that those two sides (funny and depressing) aren’t far apart for us. Seeing the irony in the darkness. That’s the only thing keeping your head above the surface sometimes. Depending on the day, we vary from childish joy to wanting to jump of a cliff. It’s a dynamic life i must say.
There’s a lot of retro styling in your music video for February – how did you come up with that idea to fit with the song?
We love a lot of 70’s bands and we really like the fashion those times represented. The 70’s colors are so pretty yet depressing. We didn’t think twice about “overdosing” the video with vintage yellow, orange and brown.
Many of the songs you have previously released are more upbeat or bright in comparison to February. What can people expect for your upcoming album?
They can expect everything from 1-100 on the happy scale. The album is an emotional roller coaster.
And lastly, what are you looking forward to for the rest of 2017?
Can’t wait to release the album and can’t wait for the summer when we will be playing festivals.