Smith Westerns

Soft Will (Mom + Pop)

ACL Music Fest 2013 Friday Reviews

Smith Westerns

Soft Will (Mom + Pop)

The rough, joyous garage pop of Smith Westerns' 2009 debut matured into glam-soaked hooks on the Chicago quartet's sophomore LP, Dye It Blonde, and now Soft Will rises even higher into the hazy cosmos. Aptly titled, the album lulls with gentle transitions and such a smooth ebb and flow that it plays like a half-remembered daydream, beautiful and mystic even as it refuses to settle. Opener "3am Spiritual" moves the most dynamically in Brit-pop turns, yet even amid the surging guitar swirls of "Idol" and "Glossed," and the four-and-a-half minute instrumental interlude of "XXIII," the band revels in a cresting soundscape of saturated summer jams. "White Oath" lingers in a restless malaise that nonetheless seduces into its stoned glow, and "Best Friend" soars with a mellow-rip of T. Rex into the softer, wistful sway of Beatles licks on "Cheer Up." Soft Will, a polished, richly layered trip, even if it never fully arrives. (3pm, Honda stage)

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Smith Westerns
ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews
Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Sept. 16, 2011

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sheverb
Chapter One (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Doug Freeman
The 12 People You Meet at Sam’s Town Point, Austin’s Real-Life Roadhouse
The 12 People You Meet at Sam’s Town Point, Austin’s Real-Life Roadhouse
You’d never know the South Austin honky-tonk is there, but wait 'til you meet its cast of characters

April 26, 2019

Texas Platters
George Ensle
Home (Record Review)

April 19, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Smith Westerns, ACL Fest 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle