Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

Christopher Smith’s songs have that timeless sound that makes you nostalgic for days gone by - days both you and Smith alike are too young to have even known.

Biography

Christopher Smith’s songs have that timeless sound that makes you nostalgic for days gone by - days both you and Smith alike are too young to have even known. The dreams and reflections he relays in song were recorded almost exclusively in bedrooms, a natural environment for such lovely reveries as these. With a dreamlike intimacy, he sings love songs so soft and gentle they could be adult lullabies.

Smith has always been driven to create beautiful things. Having started out as a visual artist, his works were exhibited in galleries throughout Vancouver before he had even finished high school. Since leaving home Christopher’s creative focus has shifted to music. He began spontaneously recording songs in the bedrooms and living rooms of friends’ houses, each one only taking a few hours to complete.

This random collection came to be known as Lullabies for Crybabies. The unreleased EP includes the first song Smith ever wrote, a 2-minute youth anthem entitled “Children’s Song”. The tale of a city just for children who live “in tree houses they built for themselves out of wood glue and red cedar” is captivating in its simplicity. For all its whispered beauty, there’s a dark undercurrent that runs through much of Smith’s work, and it runs deep in “Samson Said.” The retelling of a biblically dysfunctional and destructive relationship is one Smith says with a laugh that he can relate to.

“There’s a level of romanticism to desperate love songs because you want to be desperately in love with someone — who wants a take it or leave it love?”

This same all or nothing attitude could explain why after a half-dozen years of making music in earnest, Smith has yet to release an album. An admitted perfectionist who strives for “simplicity and restraint” in his art, Smith refuses to seek out inspiration but instead waits for it come to him, with a goal of creating more cohesive work.

When work began on his first complete album, Christopher retreated to his studio of choice – a bedroom. “I was sitting on a bed the whole time,” he says, adding, “the vocals were recorded in the bathroom.” Modest in execution, the resulting recording, The Beckon Call, is a hushed and intimate affair.

“Gently Gently” begins with whimsical, layered vocals and guitars that build and then, like a veil being lifted, quickly drop away into a sad and simple love song telling of the conundrum faced as a relationship comes to a close; one of disenchantment, and an unwillingness to simply let it die.

“Middle of the Night” may sound naively sentimental, but is followed by a song full of insecurity and failure. Rudderless, Smith sings of surrender and this is far more real and true and romantic than any saccharine love song could ever hope to be. Smith understands beyond his years what Nick Cave meant in saying “The love song is a sad song, it is the sound of sorrow itself.”

With a sigh, “Two Strawberries in a Jam” lists off the things one loves about another, in the hope that perhaps some day this admiration could be requited. The melancholy and vulnerability of the song can be summed up by the album’s title. A beckon call is in itself a hopeful invitation; opening oneself up for deliverance from solitude.

As truly beautiful as these songs are, their depth is forged in vulnerability and grief. Some love is ephemeral. Paper chains may bind us but are easily broken. Some loves are a burden worth carrying — “From the tip of your toes to each lock of your hair / All a cross I’ll gladly bare”. We lose ourselves. But without getting lost, how would we ever know we want to be found?

Discography

The Beckon Call - lp
May 11, 2010

Christmas Day - single
December 21, 2009

Keepsake - ep
September 22, 2009

Set List

Eddie and Marta
Children's Song
Samson Said
Out Of My Head
Piece by Piece
The Meat and The Marrow
Pins On A Line
Worker bee