It's been almost two years since the formerly under the radar band from Chicago, Smith Westerns
, gained their unexpected but well deserved international success after the release of their second album, Dye It Blonde
in 2011. Such circumstances often have the power to compromise artistic integrity, putting pressure on artists to capitalize on the sound that enabled their success and, simply put, to inadvertently lead them to "sell out." Fortunately, in the case of the glam rock inspired band, this sudden success appears to be serving as a blessing, rather than a curse.
"Weekend," off of Dye It Blonde
, for example, has a lighter, surf rock inspired sound, as opposed to "Idol", which is somewhat darker and more honest and heartfelt. The band's artistic growth and progress seems to be proportional to their success and opportunities.
With the popularity and constant presence of dreamy, beachy West Coast inspired soft rock within the indie rock scene in the last few years - the success of Wavves, Surfer Blood and Best Coast and their offshoots, just to name a few - the difficulty of maintaining a unique sound and staying true to one's artistic style appears to be a balancing act that is difficult to achieve success in; luckily, Smith Westerns have managed to do so seamlessly.
As Omori's soulful croons are met perfectly with the song's melancholic, dreamy guitar riffs, it is almost impossible not to believe him as he exclaims, "Every day's a blessing." If "Idol" is at all representative of what's to come from the band come the release of Soft Will
on June 25th, there is a lot to expect from Smith Westerns, as well as the future of their sound.
is due out June 25th via Mom & Pop.