News: Chicago indie trio Smith Westerns return with brand new album ‘Soft Will’ out 28th June!
Chicago melodic-indie-rock trio Smith Westerns are back, enhancing their garage-glam pop sound on new album ‘Soft Will’, due for release this 28th June via Pod | Inertia.
Singer-guitarist Cullen Omori, bassist-brother Cameron Omori and guitarist Max Kakacek culminated their third full-length after a period of success and post-tour unrest. Produced by Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and featuring new drummer Julien Ehrlich, formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, ‘Soft Will’ was recorded at Sonic Ranch, a live-in recording studio located 30 minutes outside of El Paso, Texas. The band loved the isolation. “We pretty much stayed on the ranch and cranked them out,” says Cameron Omori.
It all starts with “3AM Spiritual,” the album’s dreamy opener. Bummed out, Cullen Omori penned the song during the spring of 2012 on a mini-keyboard in the most mundane of places: his parent’s kitchen. “The lyrics came right away. It was supposed to be this uplifting ballad, to make myself feel better,” he says. The song likewise marked a turning point for the group. “We decided to challenge ourselves with making songs that we hadn’t really done before,” explains Max Kakacek. “With ‘3AM Spiritual’ we didn’t want it to be as immediately poppy. It was more a progression of ideas, designed to build up to a big chorus.”
There’s a cool metamorphosis that pervades ‘Soft Will’. For instance its first single, the shimmering, lovesick “Varsity” actually began as an acoustic track. It doubles as a tongue-and-cheek reference to being referred to as a high-school band by the press. “Then in the studio, it just came out as a mid-tempo pop song” Kakacek notes. “There was an improvisation to some songs that lead to them being way catchier.”
The video for ‘Varsity’ has just premiered on Pitchfork. Who also named it ‘Best New Track’ earlier.
‘Soft Will’, in kind, is an album of frontiers: mellifluous guitars, confident restraint, and pensive songwriting. However to Smith Westerns, recording an album about dreading their homestead feels almost like an interlude—because they can’t wait to play those songs on the road.
‘Soft Will’ is due out 28th June via Pod | Inertia.