Mr Smith: All in one

Delightfully British Indie band and musical innovators release all songs on free app


Mr Smith are my kind of band. Not just because they’re delightfully British in their breezy britpop-cum-indie sound, but because they’re not content to follow the herd into the standardised digital age of Soundcloud and online streaming.

Well. That’s not entirely true. But they’ve gone about it in their own way. The band launched their own free music streaming smartphone app (hereafter referred to as Smith) a little while ago which automatically updates to include their new material. So whenever a new song is released, their fans get it right away without hassle.

It’s a very innovative way of approaching music releases in the digital age, and the band take great pride in being the first band ever to release all their tracks through a free app. It’s shocking, really, that more bands haven’t embraced this approach yet. A couple of big name experiments from artists such as Bjork still hasn’t managed to convince more bands to approach technology differently. This is why Mr Smith are an innovative band worth remembering.

In essence, Smith becomes something of a neverending and ever-expanding album. With each new release a new song is added to the tracklisting and, at the time of writing, that makes for ten tracks. This constitutes an album, but there is a flaw in the app release method: it runs the risk of feeling disjointed.

Miraculously, Smith flows flawlessly from start to finish. If you didn’t know any better, it’d be impossible to tell that this wasn’t a meticulously detailed and strategic plan of release. Across ten tracks of jaunty indie with tints of melancholy and cheek-gnawing commentary, not once does it feel like it a haphazard compilation album.

The urgency of the opening tracks, the indie-funk groove that is Olivia and the gently Two Door Cinema Club Flowers, kick teeth and demand attention. The intensity peaks and troughs across the tracklisting, but it never snags or feels like the pacing has gone off. Right the way through to final track and first release Work For The Weekend, it’s absolutely seamless and mesmerisingly indie. Each track is crafted with a uniquely cynical and light-hearted tone of voice, a biting take on modern life.

Mr Smith represent the best of British, and Smith accurately represents the band. This feels very much like Blur had they got together in the 21st century and had the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in digital. Above all else, Mr Smith signify the digital innovation that is largely lacking from emerging music.

It’s often hard to think that artists, who are naturally creative people, don’t have the spark to experiment with the administrative elements of music. Thank the tech gods for Mr Smith.

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