Thomas Andrew, band leader of A Certain Smile, is a man on a mission to keep the Portland indie-pop scene alive; whether he’s playing records at the Toffee Club Sunday Brunch, putting out his radio show on Freeform Radio or fronting his band, he’s always keeping the jangly, fuzzy, indie-pop flame burning. Originally formed back in 2002, A Certain Smile are in some ways an homage to the music Thomas loves, labels like Slumberland and Sarah’s Records, bands like Velocity Girls and McCarthy; their influence is all over the band’s upcoming debut album, Fits And Starts. That record is out next month, and today we’re premiering the latest taste of it, Hold On Call.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Thomas suggests that it is, “about long distance love and the inequities of separation.” Atop a backing of energetic blurring drums, reverberating guitar lines and driving bass, Thomas’ vocal carries a tale of missed phone calls, changing lifestyles and the joy of getting the call and slipping right back into love. It’s a perfect blend of the melancholic and the romantic; recalling acts like Night Flowers or Literature with their timeless music, seemingly free of musical fads and trends.
There are those who will argue this record is some sort of retro-throwback, the final dying scream of a genre on its last legs, yet when it is done this well, it’s hard to do anything but embrace the jangle and enjoy a perfect indie-pop song.
Fits And Starts is out March 2nd. Click HERE for more information on A Certain Smile.