Introducing: Local Sophistipop Project Story Night (Release Show at Triple Rock June 4th!)
It’s as if you can hear Andrew Smith saying “We’ve got a pile of instruments here, and we may as well use them.” The only absentee is any relic from Smith’s time with local surf punks Naptaker. No, Smith’s latest opus as Story Night is a sober affair that dances around themes of love, work and everything a man can do to make himself and those around him happy.
Story Night begins with a tale of what Smith’s muses “If I wore a suit and worked in an expensive building/would you run to me/and be my secretary?” he sings on “Seen Your Worth,” precluding the high imagination that’s central to the project. Before turning a phrase or transition, a synthesizer or a delayed snare drum pops out on tracks like “Wish You Were Here (Invisible Cages)” or the Foals-inspired “Scratch Game,” where a million percussive elements coalesce into the records danciest moment.
In conjunction with all the musical flora and fauna, Story Night is a fussy, maximalist album. Multiple parts tend to join the fray at once, like the violin arpeggios and vocal overdubs all over highlight “Vice Cadet.” There’s a bridge section that breaks apart the arrangement piece by piece, as if Smith knew that his listenership needed a breather. Closer “Finally Saying It” takes on similar moods, and allows over two dreamy minutes before layered vocals swallow the track whole.
It’s easy to imagine Smith intentionally holding back his Prince-like, choirboy past. But, if there seems like there’s too much going on in the world of Story Night, it’s only because that’s the truest representation of his mind; and one can’t help but admire his ability to pen something as abstract as the unfolding lyric on “Chain Reaction.” Most heavy hearts aren’t so successfully unpacked.
Story Night debuts live with their album release show on Saturday, June 4 at the Triple Rock. They will be joined by Tabah, Daylily, and Lunar Bedrooms. Facebook invite/RSVP event can be found HERE.
— Michael Cyrs, @mjcyrs
Writer / co-founder