Smile

Like a Diamond in the Rough, You Shine

Texas Platters

Sunny dissonance, avant-garde pop, and playful instrumentation informs Smile's warm sincerity. For an act still in its infancy, the Austin sixpiece demonstrates a remarkably clear idea of its identity on these six debut songs. Opener "All the Things" creeps into fullness, led by the airy harmonies of Annie Long and Mary Bryce, then spins off into dizzying coils of distortion, caveman drums, and mathy guitars. On "Must Be Something Pt. 1," the album's namesake lyric is sung over and over, anchoring the track while the chugging bassline and instrumentation builds onto itself an ornate, intricate soundscape. Instead of getting wound up in the profound musical technicality of the players, Smile's silliness on Like a Diamond in the Rough, You Shine lovingly bleeds into precision. When bandleader Jake Miles sweetly sings, "Misery loves its company, so baby, won't you cum for me?" on lovestruck "I Dunno," and "Proper Design" devolves into discord and giggles, you'll grin.

***

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 Smile
Heroes and Villains
Heroes and Villains
Van Dyke Parks can finally 'Smile'

Greg Beets, March 18, 2005

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Libby Webster
ACL Live Review: Nilüfer Yanya
Nilüfer Yanya
English singer-guitarist animates acclaimed Miss Universe

Oct. 7, 2019

ACL Live Review: Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish
Superstar teen proves she should’ve been a headliner

Oct. 6, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Smile

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