Dubliner James Smith started his first band, Gypsies on the Autobahn at the age of 16. After being signed to Universal Records Ireland in 2015 the band released their first full length record Born Brief in 2017,following it with their second album Suspended in 2019. Throughout their 14 year kinship, the band sawsuccess supporting Little Green Cars, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bleeding Heart Pigeons selling out Whelan, playing at Vicar Street, Other Voices and touring the festival circuits. During this time James had been honing his production skills, creating demos for the band to bring into recording sessions orbeginning new artistic ventures with his project Yurn, working with artists such as Soda Blonde, Zaska,Tolü Makay, Danny G and the Major 7ths, Nnic, Gareth Quinn Redmond to name a few. With tensionsmounting, the band decided to part ways mutually and amicably at the beginning of 2020 and James setout to finish recordings he had started late in the 2019.
Coming away from this long relationship, Jameshad developed skills of not only production, but invaluably, how to write a song and the knowledge of how it feels to perform them. These skills he could not have gathered without these experiences and were utilised in the writing and recording of his debut album, set for release in May 28th, 2021.
In his debut single I'm sorry Smith's high pitched voice takes center stage. The track has a soulful vibe, the rhytm is slow, almost meditative or R&B like. The vocal is plaintive, nearly breaking with all the emotions expressed. Not that kind of song you would listen to on a bad day as this would clearly not brighten your mood. It will put you to sleep which might be helpful in some cases. The keys seem to be quite off rhytm yet it adds an interesting flavour to the track. The songs picks up both dynamic and depth from about the middle onwards. The end comes suddenly, as if it was cut off for a reason.
It's clear that this is a deeply personal offering and to quote the movie Walk the Line "that's a kind of song that truly saves people"
Artwork: Daniel Smith
Design: Peggie McKeon