Turning Heads with Augustus Welby

Steve Smyth

May 24, 2020

This episode features a conversation with Barcelona-based, Australian songwriter Steve Smyth. Steve released two successful LPs in the early part of the 2010s – Release (2011) and Exits (2014) – before relocating to Barcelona, which is where he still lives. There was a long wait for the follow-up to Exits, but Steve returned with the single ‘Stages’ in early 2020 and delivered the Blood EP in May.

Compared to the noisy, junkyard blues rock of his earlier releases, Blood is a sparse affair that carries the influence of Steve's new surroundings. For example, ‘Stages’ is built around nylon string guitar and punctuated by swaying, plaintive horn refrains. This aesthetic permeates the release, which entirely eschews drums and electric guitar.

We spoke about Steve's long absence from the release radar and the sorts of personal hurdles he had to jump over in order to feel comfortable releasing new material. He also spoke about the universal desire to be accepted, and how this shapes his aspirations as a musician.

Turning heads is recorded on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation; the traditional custodians of the land. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future, and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded. 

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