Rett Smith is the future of American rock ‘n’ roll
Here, the musician discusses his just-released single and how he doesn’t rely on inspiration for his sound
Monday 14 March 2022 By Abigail Hirsch Photography by Cristina Fisher Video by Kyle Moore
Texan musicians are on the rise, and Rett Smith is a standout among them. With an unapologetic sombre sound one can only describe as rock ‘n’ roll, the star chronicles his music as ‘rooted in the past’, and having ‘extreme versions of truth’ in his lyrical storytelling. After stints on both coasts, as well as Nashville, a return to Texas and roots in the city of Austin brought new life to Smith’s moody sounds. ‘The goal is to sing about really heavy stories and emotions in a way that still brings people in,’ he says.
In the pandemic days of 2020, Smith released his debut album, Giving Up On Quitting, a nine-track journey blending alternative and indie rock. Last year, he followed up with What The Walls Cannot See, a solo album reflecting on his return to the lone star state, produced by Jason Burt, who has worked with Leon Bridges and Khruangbin. The album took shape around ‘The Hook’, a hero song telling a ‘very dark story’.
It’s not inspiration for Smith that brings his albums to life; ‘in songwriting, I don’t really need inspiration. Inspiration’s overrated’. Instead, the singer prefers to put in the hours – ‘if you’re honest with yourself, it’ll come’.
‘Inspiration’s overrated. If you just do the work and you’re honest with yourself, it’ll come’
Having just released a single ‘I’ll Still Stay’ with singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield last Friday and with SXSW shows on the horizon, keep your eyes peeled for what’s next for Rett Smith.
Check out the video above for a snapshot of his performance at Soho House Austin and listen to his new single here.
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