Smith and Brewer EP review

Smith and Brewer

Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer by Smith and Brewer

Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer’s voices soothe us right from the start. It’s a tale of loneliness and anticipation, twin emotions recognisable to anyone who lives life on the road: “what’s the point in trying to see this world alone?/Isabella I’m coming home.” Ultimately it’s hopeful not doleful with a sweet guitar solo.

Another Shade of Blue has even more tender guitar picking and delicate vocals. Each voice is distinctive in the mix. This song is doleful, but not depressingly so. There’s a sense of acceptance: “the past is always painted black and white/today’s just another shade of blue.”

Accepting lows without succumbing to them is amplified in Life’s Too Short. Sample lyric: “if she wants to leave you for somebody new then let her/life’s too short to get down about the weather.” There’s also a hint of bluegrass, a nifty outro, and a false ending.

Better Than Your Father is a monologue of advice to the singer’s child. This puts an interesting spin on the line “may you be better than your father.” The touching sentiments at play belie the lyrics. He seems to be doing OK at the parenting thing after all!

Julietta is the second forename song of the EP. It’s more down-tuned than previous tracks, with an extended rock ‘n’ roll solo.

A Lovely Day for Doing Nothing is the earworm that will stick with you. Smith and Brewer are clearly a very accepting pair, when even nascent depression is approached in a languorous, laissez-faire way.

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