April Smith And The Great Picture Show, Songs For A Sinking Ship

There’s a clever edge to “Songs For A Sinking Ship,” the debut full-length from April Smith and the Great Picture Show. Perhaps it’s the fine touches that litter “Songs For A Sinking Ship.” Nothing is laid on too thick; Smith and her bandmates never rely too heavily on banjos, organs, mellotrons and the like. In fact, Smith doesn’t exactly pigeonhole herself throughout “Songs For A Sinking Ship.” Smith and her talented bandmates approach each of the eleven bubbly, caberet-influenced pop tracks with a certain languid approach that produces a fine and remarkably listenable balance. It’s a groovy and immediately pleasurable listen.

“Drop Dead Gorgeous” is a gleaming example of Smith’s casual yet striking talent as a songwriter. The song’s back of the bar, mischevious vibe creeps up on you but never betrays what it is, and what Smith shows of herself: a realist with a husky romantic edge. “Colors,” another standout track, lets us in on another side of Smith. She’s all kinds of old school, believing in simple clap-alongs, such as on this jazzy, peppy number. The weight of a few hands banging against each other works so much better for Smith than any studio trickery every could. The production on “Songs For A Sinking Ship” is truly minimalist, letting Smith’s classy tunes and buoyant (Sorry, I had to at some point) voice speak for themselves. She’s tricky, this April Smith newcomer, but there’s also a certain warmth on “Songs For A Sinking Ship” that is just so damn inviting.

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 3.5/5]

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