Some tracks are born instantly, others marinate for years before finding all the right ingredients. “Smile” began as a single riff recorded back in 2018. Fast forward a few years and Joq the keyboardist stumbles upon the recording. Hovis builds a rhythm on the spot with the drums. And when Joakim Björnberg’s honeyed vocals join in, everyone smiled.
But like the composition’s history, “Smile” isn’t all fun and games. There’s a complex balance of joy and acceptance behind the lyrics. “We’ll soon be older. How does that make you feel?” Björnberg asks as the harmony suddenly shifts into an open texture, leaving all the space in the world for an answer that doesn’t come.
The bewitching distorted guitar hooks lull you into a happy place, bopping along to the catchy melody. And even the lyrics have a whimsical twist to them at time, like “I had pancakes for lunch.” The non sequitur takes the edge off the more existential elements.
With so many layers to the song, it’s easy to listen on repeat and catch something new every time. “Smile” is only the band’s second release from their upcoming debut album, My Bonnie. With this much talent crammed into three minutes and twenty seconds, it’s exciting to see what comes next.
Stream “Smile” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.