Tristan Gregory Smith spent the last year zigzagging across the country “collecting stories and wearing out his tires.” It was on this cross-country wandering that his radiator burst somewhere outside Billings, Montana. Stuck in some no-name US Forest Service campsite thinking about everything that led him to this moment, he wrote “Pretty Sure”.
“Broken down in another small town/ Pretty sure that’s how we all started,” his melancholy voice reflects. The subtle vocal harmony and doubling make even the definitive statements feel wistful and nostalgic, like someone staring up at the Milky Way and thinking out loud.
When not strumming his accompaniment, the soulful guitar interjections provide just enough notes to move the conversation forward, like a friend nodding along in agreement. The conversation provides a nice contrast to the more existentially atmospheric chorus of “I’ve heard it gets easier/ And I’ve heard it gets swept under the rug.”
Even the gentle bass feels hesitant and introspective. As it moves from chord to chord, it keeps repeating the final note on each bar’s last beat, like it doesn’t want to resolve or move to the next note. It hangs on, asking “are you home or is this a rest?”
Stream “Pretty Sure” 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.