Premiere: Steve Smyth shares the clip for Stages ahead of AU tour
The Europe-via-Australian musician, known for his charming, subtle takes on indie-rock, will return back home this Autumn.
Over the last decade, Steve Smyth has emerged a cult-favourite of charming, subtle indie-rock that across this time, has consistently proved himself to be a national favourite; two albums, a string of singles and constant touring ensuring that he never loses this place. For much of the last few years, however, Smyth has been recording and writing over in Europe - his latest single was recorded in Barcelona, for instance - working on his craft and rebuilding a distinctive sound that'll take the singer-songwriter into the new decade just as well-adored as he was the last.
Stages, his new single, is his first in six years and one that gives a hint of what his next steps are going to sound like, branching forward into the future to ensure that Steve Smyth's sound remains present and craftful in the new decade. It's one that takes mannerisms from his old work - the backbone of the track is lush with guitar and crooning vocals - and twists it with parts from here and there; Nick Cave's gripping emotional songwriting, for instance, coming together with the orchestral cinematics of acts like Bon Iver and James Blake.
"Stages was written and recorded in a cathedral in Barcelona, I stumbled in to ask and was surprised to hear the priest’s acceptance of my idea," he says on the track. "I gathered friends of mine, along with a lot of studio gear and we recorded it in live takes. I was searching for a sound for these songs that I realised were in these echo chambers of penitence. In a completely atheist and functional overview, we did let these stories rumble through these walls that have heard so many before, I felt comfortable in the humanity of consonance."
Today, however, we're premiering the track's official film clip, which arrives ahead of a run of Australian tour dates - a homecoming return, of sorts - that'll bring Steve Smyth back around the country this March/April. Filmed in Barcelona, the film clip - entirely shot in black and white - emphasises the live passion that sweeps amongst Stages' layering combination of melodies; the intensity of the single at the forefront as he plays it alone with a guitar amongst cloud-backed fields and farms.
"Drawing symmetry between the song and visual of this track Stages is somehow a stretch for the imagination, however simply I love and am drawn to the desert landscapes. I felt it echos in the ears, the wind that comes from far off places like the sound of the story I wrote about," he says on the clip. "Longing and abandonment, yet a peace from any which wind that blows from the horizon. Stages talks of a theatre, yet it is also a moment in time that contemplates what was and what no longer will be. The end of the show, as the last lyric of the chorus laments in adulation “All the roses lay at your feet." I’ve never been anywhere else in the world that a desert hasn’t let me have the peace to accept the many Stages I have experienced."
Watch the clip below, and find his tour dates underneath that. Also, stay tuned for the release of a new EP, titled Blood, out later this year.
27 March - Toowoomba - Bar Wunder
28 March - Brisbane - Mojo Burning
29 March - Eltham - Eltham Hotel
2 April - Sydney - Mary's Underground
3 April - Canberra - Smiths Alternative
4 April - Wollongong - La la la's
9 April - Melbourne - Workers Club
11 April - Ballarat - The Eastern
17 April - Darwin - The Rails
18 April - Adelaide - Wheatsheaf
24–26 April - Maitland - Gumball Festival
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