Back before the first Grand Point North festival I’d been spending lots of my drive time listening to some great tunes from Maryse Smith. Benny Yurco had been sitting in on guitar from time to time and I fell in love with the odd rhythms of Maryse’s words and phrases. The way more words fit into a line that probably should and the interesting way her voice danced around the melody. Today marks the release of Maryse’s next record and we can truly say that we love it as much, well, possibly more than the first one. Benny is back on guitar, Ryan Power and others add multiple layers of instruments. I know I’ll be digging this for a long time.
Here’s what I want to say.
You can’t imagine how much of a difference a purchase for an independent musician makes so really, I encourage you to head over to Maryse’s page on Bandcamp and make it happen. I think back to speaking with Maryse at length during a house concert last November in Brattleboro, VT about the struggle to make music and be heard. Every little bit counts. Yeah, most of us are here for GPN but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say everyone in that band would really appreciate you sending some love Maryse’s way.
Brett Hallenbeck writes:
Maryse Smith could be Vermont’s next noteworthy musical export if she finds the right band and is hungry enough to chase music as a career. She’s especially adept at the hardest thing for any young musician to master — writing a song that can feed your head, break your heart and touch your soul.
some things really are worth the wait. Smith’s newly released, self-titled sophomore record is a remarkable effort, revealing a mature and deeply thoughtful songwriter in full command of her considerable powers.
Smith’s debut was a humble and winsome affair composed of her earliest songwriting. Almost impossibly charming, it exuded a warm, handmade quality as inviting as it was intoxicating. It was imperfect, but perfectly so. The album’s blemishes and quirks, combined with Smith’s own seeming shyness and insecurity as a songwriter, gave the record a wonderfully human, familiar feel.
On her eponymous new record, Smith has grown up. From the outset, the strutting, early rock-and-roll strains of “Garden Flower,” she sings with newfound swagger. It’s a sly confidence. But behind that teasing, seductive grin are sharp teeth and equally sharp wordplay.
It’s precisely that incisive and insightful bite that suggests Smith has entered a new artistic phase. The characteristic melancholy of her debut lingers, but it’s girded with attitude, as though she has a chip on her newly straightened shoulders.
That early show at Grand Point North garnered the following reviews:
Via Bust Magazine
But Maryse Smith, who ostensibly opened the festival on Saturday, was the weekend’s biggest revelation. Smith—a singer-songwriter who looks more or less exactly like Kirsten Dunst—played introspective, brutally honest folk songs elevated by a pleasantly cheery persona that matched the late summer weather.
“I’m losing my mind/It’s getting worse all the time,” Smith reflects on “The Fear,” a song that could be confused for darker reading of She & Him. “You can cover the stains, but you can’t erase the trace.”
There’s no affected singer-songwriter stance here; Smith sings from the heart.
Photo Credit : Me