On his hard-hitting new album Giving Up On Quitting, due out May 22nd, Texas born singer-songwriter Rett Smith places an intense focus on his inner truths through remarkably personal accounts of love, heartbreak and redemption, all while painting a lyrical landscape of his beloved southwest. Baring his all, Giving Up On Quitting finds Smith laying his own story on the line as the only songwriter on the record.
The album, which marks a departure from Smith’s more straightforward rocking material, is the result of an artist mining his own psyche and exploring the darker themes of depression, accountability and chemical escapism. For Smith, getting these songs written and recorded – self-produced at Los Angeles’ 64 Sound over the course of 8 days – was a necessary step in his journey as a musician, writer, and as a person.
When he started writing the songs that would become Giving Up On Quitting, Smith knew he wanted the lyrics to be front and center. This idea manifested itself in lyrics with the heightened sense of vulnerability that Smith says comes from him writing in the first person .
Building the instrumentation around complex fingerpicked guitar melodies allowed Smith to set the vibe to match the despair in the lyrics. Working in this manner, he was able to create melodies that matched the vibrations happening in his head. This solitary approach to crafting songs ultimately resulted in the album’s sparse, atmospheric sound.
Between the guitar chops and old soul lyricism, Giving Up On Quitting leaves the impression that Smith has been a musician his whole life. In fact, he only discovered his talent for playing music after walking away from his career as an internationally competing downhill skier. He notes that many of the struggles that come to light in the music are shared by those who have felt they already had their chance and lost it, regardless of their field.
Compared to previous albums like his 2015 debut Tularosa, 2016’s Oscuro and his heavier 2017 side project SAENTS, Giving Up On Quitting finds Smith carefully layering instrumentation to create a distinctly Western sound that is inspired by his roots in Texas and New Mexico. The sound complements the vivid, autobiographical lyrics that pull the listener into a world that is tormented yet always seeking a way to overcome. There is a distinctive twang throughout much of the music, and Smith’s gritty and honest vocals strike a perfect balance between his personal hardships and universal truths that resonate with all of us.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for the bluesy rock and roll anthem “Luck Burns Deep.” With Smith laying down red hot guitar licks that are rooted in blues but laced with punk rock and country rock swagger, the song features a foot-stomping beat to complement its raucous, fiery sound. Reminiscent of acts ranging from The Black Keys to Ryan Bingham, Smith balances the darker subject matter with a sound suited to cutting loose and having a rowdy time. The use of grainy black and white footage of car racing complements the speed and freewheeling vibe of the music.
Smith describes the inspiration behind the song:
“‘Luck Burns Deep’ is a song I wrote about burning the candle at both ends and to the outside world seemingly getting away with it. The song describes my ‘always up for some hard living fun’ lifestyle and the not so subtle effects this has on a person mentally and physically. With the riff and stomp along melody, I wanted to take the listener into this fun loving place, without ignoring a pretty heavy story within the lyrics.
The song title is referencing this strange specific type of guilt I feel quite often. A guilt that only comes around after too many booze-fueled days and late nights that ride the razors edge between feeling completely alive and a soul killing inner catastrophe. There’s much reference to the need to stay level by any means necessary, while asking your partner to put up with you, along with the contradiction of not actually changing a damn thing.”
Rett Smith releases Giving Up On Quitting on May 22nd. For more music and info visit rettsmithmusic.com.