Addiction is one of the most polarizing issues on the political stage today, yet despite our lack of shared understanding, it can mostly be agreed upon that the emergence from the shadows is a rare and commendable feat.
When Michael Charles Smith was in the throws of his own condition, it was music that flickered a light to him from the end of the proverbial tunnel, and now to avoid making those same mistakes that kept him sick, the Portland-based multi-instrumentalist has created an album claiming accountability for the wreckage of his past.
Later this year Smith will release In The Shadow, and today Glide Magazine is premiering the new video for the album’s lead single, “Mistaken”, which comes out August 25th. Creeping in with pizzicato strings and breathy vocals that reveal a hard-earned understanding of the difference between love and infatuation, it should come as little surprise that Smith’s music has drawn comparisons to the likes of Andrew Bird, Elliott Smith, and Mercury Rev. Embracing unrequited love and the terminal self-pity that accompanies it, “Mistaken” is charged with sincerity and it weighs heavy as a result. The song progresses slowly to a poignant and beautifully-arranged climax as layered vocals reveal the deeper pain that had been used to justify his dysfunctional behavior.
“I wrote ‘Mistaken’ many years ago for a girl I was overly infatuated with. I played the song for her and I guess it was a little too honest because she left me not long after hearing it… As with many songs on the album, ‘Mistaken’ is a metaphorical reminder of how I don’t want to feel and act in the world and relationships,” reflects Smith.
The director of the video Evan Gandy adds a comment about his own inspiration, saying, “We wanted to use imagery that reflected the mood and tone of the song but aren’t directly derivative of the lyrics to give the song space to speak for itself. Mandy Stockholm was perfect to play the girl; her alluring blue eyes can be read as both beautiful and deceitful simultaneously.”
Michael Charles Smith releases “Mistaken” on August 25th. For more music and info visit michaelcharlessmith.com.