A troubadour of old is transported into the overstimulation and isolation of the 21st century urban landscape. He is adept at learning to utilize modern technology to complement his lilting melodies. He is a shrewd observer of his current culture and surroundings. Inherent tension pervades his compositions, lushness and gauntness grate against each other as the medieval poet wraps his literary tendrils around the minimalist pulsations of the modern city.
This isn't David Shane Smith, but the fictional sci-fi/fantasy figure that creeps into my consciousness when listening to his songs. Simultaneously encompassing and defying conventions of folk, electronica and beat poetry, the music sounds fantastic and other worldly, but is most profound in its humanity.
"Tarmac" raises one's pulse, the beats are driving and frenetic, the vocals as insistent as they are mournful. Initially there's something incredibly chilling about it, inducing a sort of hypothermia of the soul, but soon the lines of the chorus repeat in warbling harmony and break into a cathartic burbling synth chord. There is something about the piece that causes the stomach to drop, that completely arrests the senses and emotions, something arresting and painfully honest.
David Shane Smith used to be a Portland musician and has subsequently ventured into the New York City and Los Angeles music scenes.
His latest release, Cloud Pleaser is available in hard copy and for immediate download on CD Baby.