Northern Ireland stalwarts smallmint have unveiled their new single “The Dark”, plucked from forthcoming debut LP ‘where we all end up in the end’. A twangy and melodic track that wears its heart on its sleeve and treads the line between indie-rock and Americana, “The Dark” is a sanguine spyhole into the band’s upcoming debut ‘where we all end up in the end’.
Meandering through an alluring mesh of throbbing drum beats, tender vocals and steady guitar licks, the confident cut breathes new life into indie rock, proving that honest and organic guitar music is as essential and evocative as ever.
With an assured sound indebted to their years of service amongst the music scenes of Belfast, Glasgow and beyond, smallmint are a collective of musicians hailing from various parts of Northern Ireland. Crafting melodies that are as emotive as they are euphoric, the forthcoming record is flecked with spatters of alt-rock, Americana and folk glimmering amongst a handful of pop, bluegrass and country influences.
Working in close collaboration with producer Caolán Austin, the album was conceived in 2017 when the band — led by frontman Andrew Cameron-Braithwaite — laid down its first foundations at Smalltown America Studios in Derry. Shedding their blood, sweat and tears into a record that is bound to stand the test of time, Cameron-Braithwaite grapples with heavy subject matter that is affecting and earnest but never feels devoid of the possibility of a resolution.
Playing like a long-overdue meeting of the minds of Pinegrove, Frightened Rabbit and Julien Baker, ‘where we all end up in the end’ is a confident statement of intent — and a testament to the band’s hard work, musicianship and self-imposed high standards.
Speaking of the album’s production, Cameron-Braithwaite says:
“We wanted the album to feel natural and to actually sound like a band playing live in a room, which is exactly how it was recorded. It was important for us to keep that space and energy in the recordings — no need for overproduction or too many overdubs, so that the arrangement of the music and the emotion within the lyrics could speak for themselves.”
This stripped back and simplistic approach to the arrangement is evident on “The Dark”, and its gutsy melodies and affecting lyrics speak for themselves, without the need for overcomplication.
Listen to 'The Dark' - BELOW:
With the album set for release next month, the band’s earlier singles boast smallmint’s breadth as musicians too — from the clangorous and anthemic “Synonym” to the soft and folk-tinged ballad “New Year” and the overcast and emotive “Pseudonym”, smallmint swiftly traverse genre whilst sticking true to their heartfelt and honest undertones.
As they gear up for the release of their reputation-making debut, smallmint will also be cutting their live teeth with a handful of shows in Belfast and Glasgow, including a showcase slot at Output Belfast Ireland’s biggest one-day music conference and live music showcase. Full dates and details are below.
smallmint Live Dates 2022
12th May - BELFAST - Ulster Sports Club
14th May - BELFAST - The American Bar
4th June - GLASGOW - McChuills