New Music: David Shane Smith

One of my favorite New York musicians, David Shane Smith, has a new collection of songs he’s distributing. I wrote about Smith a few months back in a Talkin’ New York feature - his albums are all burned onto homemade CD-Rs and passed out for free at his shows. Angry Earth is the latest, joining Love Songs and Wintertower as some of my most played local artist albums.

The songs and sounds of Angry Earth are obviously related to the cold, distant ones of Wintertower. There is a clear progression in the recording techniques - Angry Earth is more instrumentally varied than either of its predecessors, and the recording is much cleaner as well. That’s not to say that anyone’s going to think David Fridmann manned the boards, but the added crispness of the recording only helps to shine a light on Smith’s voice and words. It’s as if Radiohead were recording with no budget - with Smith sleep-rapping his nuclear wasteland poetry over bedroom blips and bleeps. The images remain stark and mechanical - payphones, window bars, calculators, religion on the bathroom stalls, but these songs still manage to come across as more personal than Wintertower’s bleak dead-city scenes, and on album centerpiece “Burnt Forest”, even hopeful as new life rises from the ashes.

MP3 :: Calculator
MP3 :: Burnt Forest
MP3 :: New World
MP3 :: I Smoke
(from Angry Earth)

Smith recently played his final New York show. He’ll soon be relocating to the West Coast, so if you happen to live in the L.A. area be sure to check him out live.

Bonus MP3 :: Sorry
(this is a favorite of mine that David passed along. It’s an older song but features one of his most tuneful and memorable choruses)

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