That STEVE SMYTH’S Ivy League debut EXITS is a magnificent soundtrack for travel should come as no surprise. Smyth spent years roaming the streets of Paris and London, traversing Europe, Asia and North America. Here he listened to rough mixes of songs in his head, scrawling lyrics … read more »

That STEVE SMYTH’S Ivy League debut EXITS is a magnificent soundtrack for travel should come as no surprise. Smyth spent years roaming the streets of Paris and London, traversing Europe, Asia and North America. Here he listened to rough mixes of songs in his head, scrawling lyrics in dog-eared note books, teasing out arrangements on his guitar.

Hailing from the NSW south coast, Steve Smyth’s music bears all the markers of the itinerant songwriter. The album opens with ‘Get On’, its bourbon soaked vocals, underpinned with junk yard percussion. Here the listener first encounters a taste of some of the sonic ideas on Exits distilled into song.

Smyth and the production team of Joey Waronker (Atoms For Peace, Thom Yorke, Beck) and Gus Seyffert (The Black Keys, Norah Jones) recorded Exits in Echo Park in the shadow of the Hollywood Hills with coyotes heckling from the escarpments.  It’s clear that the team understood each other’s aesthetics well. It was time to experiment and tease out the details of the album in the relative chaos of Seyfferts home studio. In Steve’s own words it was “a house full of amps, you couldn’t walk… instruments covered the walls and floors.”

Exits is wayward, elusive, beautiful and dark. It rambles – cohesively – but is not lost. Within that rambling cohesion all manner of treasures await discovery, with new ones continuing to surface on every subsequent listen. In spite of its name, Exits opens a door that lets the listener into the very special world of Steve Smyth.