Syd Smith is an artist from Australia who just recently started writing songs not too much longer than a year ago. He released a four-song EP entitled So Hello, which contains stripped down songs revolving around guitar and vocals. After looking at a couple of pictures of Smith I think it’s safe to say that he has plenty of time to refine his style although So Hello is a decent start and hopefully just a taste of more to come.
Smith opens with “4 Years” which is a bluesy pop song that revolves around some distortion from the guitars and his vocals. Smith strums basic chords and plays intermittent guitars fills when he isn’t singing. Smith occasionally gets off time despite there being no percussion. He sings, “I've seen you laugh in the dark / and fall in love by the seaside / don't walk in the fog / cause I can already see that look in your eye / I've been talking to shadows once again / for years I've been waiting for you to say.”
The next track “London Fog” has a similar feel aesthetically and revolves around the same elements as the first. I thought the vocal melody was strong but I also felt that this track would have benefited from more instrumentation like drums and bass.
“Laughter in the dark” embraces clean guitar and a softer feel in general. I thought the song was well written and had tinges of Elliott Smith. The lyrics are thoughtful and are delivered in a heartfelt, earnest way. He sings, “there's laughter in the dark / there's mirrors in the park / but you don't see yourself / your just a laugh.” “Mumblings to ramblings” is the closer, which has hints of shoegaze but feels like it was missing some elements.
So Hello is the humble beginning of an artist who will hopefully evolve over time. The production will have to improve at some point if he wants to compete with the big boys. At the very least the volume of the songs should be similar which was an issue when comparing “Laughter in the dark” to “Mumblings to ramblings.” The songs feel like appetizers that still need to fleshed out but show some potential for greater things.
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