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Jordan Smith of Steady Wells – Photo Credit: Lauren Farris
There’s been a resurgence of soft rock. The kids are discovering that Steely Dan was onto something with those lush arrangements. There’s just something about a full mix that is comforting, and immediately sounds nostalgic. And Jordan Smith, the mind behind Steady Wells, has recreated that soft rock feel for the modern era on his new single “Fools Dream.”
Jordan Smith was the lead in a Saddle Creek band called Twinsmith. Hailing from Lincoln, NE, Smith’s music combines Americana, pop, and rock into a warm, delightful package of sounds. Sharing stages with artists such as Deer Tick, Night Moves, and Ruston Kelly shines a light on Smith’s rustic yet modern appeal.
The greatness of “Fools Dream” is found in the small, subtle details. The auxiliary percussion – tambourine, congas – that appear at just the perfect moments. The steel guitar notes that sway and bend like tree branches in the cool breeze of this song. The big synth chords that take over when the rest of the instruments back off. The gyrating piano octaves that appear for a second then vanish.
Smith knows the art of subtlety, and this knowledge creates a song that is served on the platter of sonic richness. And above this stellar arrangement, Smith’s voice functions as the heart and soul of the song. He sounds carefree and comfortable, as if he was meant to sing this song.
Lyrically, Smith describes the song as an ode to the way that social media can inspire. Nowadays, it’s easy for someone to record a quick video of their talent and share it to millions of people online. Smith says, “[We] see all these people do what they love to do but make it look so easy.”
And while social media has unleashed a whole new era of misinformation and division, surely there is comfort in seeing strangers showcase their skills from the comfort of their own home. We are living in a golden age for viewing the splendor of humanity, if we choose to see it. “Fools Dream” sums up this season of possibility so well, and is a testament to Smith’s ability as a songwriter.
Nowadays, artists are simultaneously looking backwards and forwards. In our pockets, we have access to an almost complete history of recorded music. Steady Wells are inviting us to participate in an unfolding story on “Fools Dream.” Will you hop on board?
Listen to the single below, and also read an exclusive interview with Jordan Smith:
Hi Jordan! What was it like transitioning from Twinsmith into the new Steady Wells project?
“I wouldn’t say there was really a transition but I just knew I had a group of songs that I had written that weren’t really in the direction of what Twinsmith is/was doing. I didn’t really have a game plan for them though so they just kind of sat in the back pocket for a while. Once the pandemic hit it was kind of this now or never type feeling that I had to actually do something with these songs so I hit up my friend/producer/engineer/bandmate James Fleege and we just started digging into the songs more and got some studio time booked at his place and here we are about to release our 4th song with this project through the pandemic.”
This song has a very big mix. There’s a lot of instruments that flow in and out. What was it like crafting this at recording sessions?
“James and I have a solid process right now with how we are going about with recording these songs and the types of nuances that are laid in and out of these songs. We had talked about direction, bands we liked, vibe early on so once I heard his first mix of “Battles” which was the first song we recorded I knew we were on the same page and just let him do his thing with what I bring to the table. James puts a lot of work in the mixes and I am dang happy I get to collaborate with him on all my music endeavors.”
This song has a lot to do with the internet age, and the ability we have now to see so many people showcasing their talent from their living room. Could you talk more about how that influenced the lyrics on this song?
“Right, yeah I feel like a majority of what you see on social media is all the cool shit people are doing and it’s easy to be in the peanut gallery talking negatively or disclaim someone’s hard work in reaching that success. It can be pretty toxic so it just influenced me to write something about that experience and how it is hard to relate to someone with successes if you’re just spending your time being a troll rather than actually doing something about what you actually want/should be doing.”
You’ve released a handful of singles over the past couple years. Any chance you plan on releasing an album anytime soon?
“Right now we are just in a cadence of releasing a new single about every 3 to 4 months. This just fits our schedules well and honestly the way to go with starting out a new project to remain relevant or grow your name. Who knows though if we hit the 10 song mark of singles released I may just package it up as an album? I like having that freedom with this project so far.”
What’s next for you? Where will we hear you this summer?
“Slowly but surely getting back into shows. We had some pretty cool shows lined up for last summer and we obviously know what happened. Looking forward to shows again but also just playing it out and seeing what other bands are doing right now. We will hit the road at some point with this project though!”
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