Artist info

Genre

Indie, Pop, Rock


Sounds like

Kurt Vile, Methyl Ethyl, Kevin Morby


band members

S.J. Smith


Website

sjsmith.org

Bio

Self-released debut album, Dojo Days, out now.

After years of performing in various bands around his hometown of Brisbane, New Zealand born singer-songwriter, S.J. Smith, relocated to Melbourne and dove headfirst into its bustling music hub - busking for rent by day, gigging and writing by night. In 2015 Smith’s first solo release, Caravan received positive reviews and national radio airtime on Triple J and other community stations both home and abroad - immediately following this success, Smith took a break. The then 21-year-old needed to step away for a moment and reflect. What followed was a strange and uncomfortable few years where Smith learned to navigate, for the first time, an unfamiliar world without a relentless creative pursuit. He also moved into a karate dojo, but we’ll get to that later.

Growing up in a quiet bayside suburb on the east coast of Australia, Smith first learned to play the piano and saxophone as a young child. At the age of 13, Smith picked up his brother’s guitar and began to fall in love with writing and performing original music, often travelling into the city with his friends to busk. Before graduating high school, Smith won a Queensland Music Award and while studying at university formed the band, Old Pines, and lent his multi-instrumentalist skills to several of his friends’ bands. Fast forward through all of the messy self-discovery of his early 20’s to March of 2020, where S.J. Smith has self-released his debut solo album.

‘Dojo Days’ is a collection of songs written and recorded during the four years S.J. Smith spent living in the loft of an inner-city karate dojo. On the album’s surface, you’ll find hazy indie-rock tunes with infectious melodies, but digging a little deeper uncovers an underlying earnestness and honesty buried in Smith’s writing. Conceptually, the album doesn’t follow a singular theme or narrative but more so a tangled web of overlapping ideas: a structure that Smith believes best represents some of the most unpredictable years of his life. With themes of existentialism, self-reflection and nostalgia, Dojo Days is dedicated to anyone that may find themselves disorientated by the random turbulence of life.

Review

Review by Tommy Faith Tommy Faith

17 Dec 2019

Triple J
35

Got my rollerblades tied tight and I'm hitting a leisurely pace down the beachside boardwalk. Outta my way world, I'm in the spot.

Got my rollerblades tied tight and I'm hitting a leisurely pace down the beachside boardwalk. Outta my way world, I'm in the spot.

Review

Review by Declan Byrne Declan Byrne

10 Dec 2019

Triple J
40

this won me over with the gradual build and payoff. you make it sound so simple but you can tell every part is meticulously crafted.

this won me over with the gradual build and payoff. you make it sound so simple but you can tell every part is meticulously crafted.

Review

Review by Dave Ruby Howe Dave Ruby Howe

12 Jan 2016

Triple J
40

Gonna add my stamp of approval to the chorus of those that have reviewed before me. I felt like I'd already spent time with this beautiful tune despite hearing it for the first time.

Gonna add my stamp of approval to the chorus of those that have reviewed before me. I felt like I'd already spent time with this beautiful tune despite hearing it for the first time.