Austin-based Dwight Smith has been building up a trove of songs while traveling, working, and living in Austin, Brooklyn, Chicago, Guatemala, Ecuador, Alaska, and Connecticut. Somewhere in his travels across two continents, he seems to have developed hands with a touch like Nick Drake's, a voice as powerful as Marc Bolan's, and a lyrical ability all to himself. His first first full-length Lateral Drifts was released on Twin Lakes in 2012.
Lateral Drifts. Dwight Smith.
Our bodies are driven to sustain and reproduce without worries of a greater meaning. It's no wonder that our minds and hearts are similarly driven forward to understand and create, all the while vexed by how the facts of the physical world may or may not add up to very much at all. Our faculties might just make us tragic because they allow us to dream of and define beauty, completeness and peace that seemingly can't exist in our physical world.
But what is more hopeful than filling a void with ringing voices? What better answer can we give monstrous solipsism than to write of what we see and feel so that others will understand? Dwight Smith seems to be heeding this call with this collection of sad, hopeful, and gorgeous songs that pull us through these questions, pull us into him. Ringing voices, plaintive horns, and sparkling keys drift over a sunset river of shimmering, spiraling, tumbling fingerpicked melodies, carrying us to a place of shared fragile exhilaration. In each song, Smith pulls us behind his minor chords and harmonies towards what will certainly be a maelstrom and wreck but instead drops us gently each time into glorious but sadly complex resolution.
The questions, maybe the void too, are still there, but we feel different about them -- a little lighter, a little tired, happy to be on the positive side of materiality, and slightly sympathetic to the necessary negative. When he sings about the need for forgiveness or about our own falls, the songs ring out, resonate and amplify an out-sized hope and love for the world and humanity. There's an angel living in this music, or somewhere in Dwight Smith.
"There’s definitely a sense of a long journey heard in his musical DNA, whether it’s the physical one, from place to place, or the spiritual one. His songwriting style reminds me of an early Sufjan Stevens. There could be Nick Drake comparisons in there as well. Many of the tracks are hauntingly staggering, with beams of beauty seeping through every visible crack." -- We All Want Someone To Shout For Read more...
Lateral Drifts reviewed in Terrascope, April 2013 (scroll down)
Dwight Smith featured on Made&State mix, April 2013
Dwight Smith featured in Pacific Coast Blog, April 2013
Review of Lateral Drifts in Folkworld, November 2012
Review of Lateral Drifts on DC Rock Live, November 2012
Nice nod for Lateral Drifts on Dayvan Zombear, November 2012
Lateral Drifts on Art of the Mix, October 2012
Some glowing words for Plumed Serpent in Verbicide Magazine, March 2012
Plumed Serpent reviewed in The New York Rockmarket, December 2011
Nice mention in Spain's PlanetaPop, December 2011
Dwight Smith on RustZine's RustRadar, December 2011