Jan 18, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Josh Kranich
Next month, Nashville-based singer/songwriter ZG Smith is set to share his forthcoming debut EP, Nighttime Animal, arriving February 23rd via Tone Tree. The record represents Smith’s first solo outing following ten years fronting the Americana outfit Smooth Hound Smith. During the band’s forced hiatus over the pandemic, Smtih began turning inward and conjuring a new blend of pop and psychedelic folk, exploring new rabbit holes of spacious instrumentation and swirling melody. Slowly, the contours of a new vibrant psych folk direction began taking shape.
He has already shared the record’s lead single, “Let Me Back In,” along with its title track, and today he’s back with another new single, “Sure Thing,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Sure Thing” strikes off in a different direction than the previous singles, offering breezy, golden-hued acoustics tempered with a nostalgic and meditative bent. The track’s warm guitar lines, subdued percussion, and dreamy vocals give it an alluring and effortless sheen, even as the lyrics find Smith searching for an elusive path forward一“What I need is a second wind / And a sure thing / Need a sure thing.”
Smith explains of the track, “This song is a meditation on the post-pandemic apathy that I think a lot of people are feeling. The lyrics are meant to describe someone (in this case I imagined them as a music executive, or booking agent, or A&R person) who no longer trusts their own instincts and is struggling with burnout, and feeling jaded and blasé. The way the music lopes along, light and breezy, but also kind of nostalgic due to the nylon string guitar and unusual chord voicings, works well with the idea that the character in the song is searching for something undeniable, chasing a dream that’s always just out of reach; I wanted it to feel like mini version of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”, distilled into a song.”
Check out the song and video below. The Nighttime Animal EP is out everywhere on February 23rd via Tone Tree.