Song of the Day: Smokey Brights - If I Can't Change Your Mind

Local Music, Song of the Day
12/17/2014
Anna McClain
photo by Andrew J.S.

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “If I Can't Change Your Mind” by Smokey Brights from their 2014 self-released album, Taste for Blood.

Smokey Brights - If I Can't Change Your Mind (MP3)

I wish my parents had named me Smokey Brights. The name could also belong to the cousin of Smokey Bear or maybe Smokey Robinson's long lost niece. The actual Smokey Brights is a local 5 piece band, recognized for their vintage folk rock, who released their first full length album this year. Determined to capture the harmony of their live performances and realize singer Ryan Devlin’s fantasy of recording in a barn, the band set up in Carnation, WA to record Taste for Blood. Smokey Brights brought in members of neighboring retro-pop band Radiation City from Portland to produce the album.

The intimacy of “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” calls for a slow dance. It’s a song that is tenderly romantic or bitterly sad -- or perhaps both. Regardless, Taste for Blood's fourth track is irrefutably sentimental. Over beautifully layered harmonies, Devlin’s confidence builds, wilts, then leads into a stirring guitar solo. Beyond the song’s sonic caliber, its lyricism is bewitching. “On your sitcom I’m the laugh track that just rolls on” is clearly no overused cliche. Rather than overflowing with phrases that struggle to rhyme only to crumble and lose all meaning, the song plays as though its lyrics were written with all intended meaning and rhyming was just a happy coincidence. In case a slow dance isn’t on your horizon, the album comes with other, more lighthearted recommended uses, including barbecuing and driving with the windows down.

Smokey Brights started a West Coast tour last week in Ballard and are playing in San Francisco tomorrow night. No future Seattle dates are scheduled yet, but following them on Facebook and Twitter is a trusty way to stay updated on local shows. Look for more info about Smokey Brights on their website, and watch a video from their 2013 live performance in the KEXP studio below:

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