The Miracals
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The Miracals

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
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The weather lately has been positively Californian, so it seems reasonable to be listening to something distinctively Californian.

One of their members got in touch, and as luck would have it I gave it a listen, note to all the rest....I jest, I jest I listen to everything that gets sent to me. So yeah I was pleasantly surprised by their west-coast summer sounds, with little twinges of 70's surf tunes. Think the Beach Boys and a lot of Vampire Weekend. And all this despite my intense dislike for Vampire Weekend! They must be good.

The Smiles, could this really be the first time someones used this name?...anyway The Smiles, whilst being based in California, they've all hoped over to do a bit o' studying at some University or other, but they hail from all around the States, so while they may sound a bit local, do not be fooled haha. EP is out in August, check out their Facebook/Bandcamp links below. They are cleverly disguised as Apple & Myspace logos, I'm not in the mood for changing them. - ...And Everyone's a DJ


A mon avis des petits jeunes qui devraient vite se faire une jolie place au soleil (californien) et nous faire attraper un coup de soleil ; entre Pomegranates "Swimming" et vampire weekend "I Could Love You More " avec la bénédiction des Beach boys .Un Ep produit via Kickstarter * ( une sorte de site fondé sur un principe de mécénat collectif d'ailleurs de plus en plus utilisé par les musiciens indépendants ) malheureusement en édition limité et donc sold out .
(disque disponible mais uniquement en téléchargement ). - Tatapoum


I don’t have a lot of time to write as its summer here on the westcoast. And around these parts we spend as much time as possible at the beach. And while we’re on the topic of the beach have you heard this new band The Smiles? They channel the ocean as if they’re islands off the coast of Los Angeles; which is where they live by the way.

Although none of the four-piece band was raised in Southern California, it seems they all eventually gravitated here and stole their sound from the ocean itself. Right down to their iconic beach side photos that adorn their website, these guys are taking the same formula as The Beach Boys did in the fifties. Not saying these guys sound like The Beach Boys, but I’m also not saying they don’t have some pretty swell harmonies.

The music is really good though and that is what matters. And the music has arrived in my ears just as the days have begun to get hot and the weekend freeways are flooded will beach-goers. If you don’t have a boom-box in your ocean side itinerary, you may need to pick one up.

And with only a single EP under their belts, you can count on hearing big things from these beach bums. Speaking of the EP, you can get it from their Bandcamp site. If you like it, toss ‘em a couple bucks, sunscreen ain’t cheap these days. - Audio Muffin


Let’s all take a moment and give it up for a group of college kids who’s vibrant beach rock will keep us frisky and frolicking straight through the end of summer.The Smiles got started at USC with Will Sturgeon and John McGrath writing songs in their dorm rooms, later joined by Mark Edwards on drums and Brendan Kirlin on guitar.

The group’s 6-track EP Hermosa was recorded in Hermosa Beach, CA and sounds like ‘tropical grunge,’ house parties and waking up without your clothes on. The Smiles will reconvene in September after summer vacation, when school is back in session. Lucky kids. - Blalocksirp


While none of the band members grew up close by the ocean, The Smiles, like to call their sound “beach rock.” Along with the chill wave craze, the more pop-oriented ‘beach surf’ or ‘tropical’ rock movement (i.e., The Drums) is also a hopping scene these days. So, in one sense, The Smiles are just another beach rock band, but in reality they could be a break-through band in 2011 with the right management.

The four band members are Los Angeles area college students who began performing together last year. In a relatively short period of time, the band became the most popular band on the campus of the University of South California. Last fall, the band raised $2,000 on KickStarter to record their debut EP, Hermosa.

The Smiles have opened for Thee Oh Sees, Sherwood, and The Entrance Band, and not surprisingly, count among their main influences, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Strokes and Vampire Weekend. - Indie Rock Cafe


The band: The Smiles, a so-called "beach rock" quartet of still-in-school USC students ("We'll see how long that lasts us," co-songwriter Will Sturgeon said) who banded together after class last year -- and not to be confused with the U.K. act The Smiles, who did get to the name first.

The sound: Like Vampire Weekend if they went to Santa Monica College instead of Columbia (or USC, for that matter): Sunshine-soaked indie-pop hooks and jangling guitars abound without an ounce of Ivy League pretension or Oxford comma debating.

The random: Sturgeon is a bit of a YouTube star -- he's earned almost 160,000 views for his solo music videos, which include Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes covers.

The details: The band's "Hermosa" EP was released in May. They play the Bootleg Theater tonight with Chasing Kings and Line And Circle.

The music: Download an MP3 of "Hermosa" single "Cala Cola" below and order the EP on the group's Bandcamp. - Brand X


each Boys, Sublime, Longbeach Dub Allstars y en tonos más punk Pennywise, Rancid y RX-Bandits, son los Cliff Notes a la hora de querer aprender el sonido de California.

The Smiles fácilmente puede entrar en esta categoría de bandas esenciales cuando se quiere estar cerca de Redondo Beach a través de un par de cornetas. Es por ello que su primer EP titulado Hermosa, que hace eco a la famosa playa del sur de California del mismo nombre, inicia lo que han denominado el movimiento del grunge tropical.

The Smiles es rock n´ roll con tonos geek. Es la música de ese perdedor que siempre busca a la chica bonita de la playa y ella ni voltea por andar pendiente del primer tipo jerseyshoreando en la esquina. Es música para relajarte en la playa y estar con tu chica -yo lo haré con la mía en par de semanas-. Es música que debería matar todo lo que no sirve en las radios actualmente.

Su sencillo “Cala Cola”, que si Dios existe debería ser el jingle de la próxima campaña de la famosa bebida gaseosa que te recuerda el nombre de la canción, parece el hijo dulce y bastardo de una orgía entre los moembros de Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit y The Strokes.

Si los diccionarios tuviesen la posibilidad de reproducir música alusiva a un significado, esta canción decoraría la definición “pegajoso”. Hay música para domingo “Sun”. Música romántica con acordes de cuerdas playeras “I Could Love You More”. Música de pre puberto “Girl I Love”. Música como debe ser: sin pretensiones ni grandes producciones; sólo ganas de divertirte, de playa y de conservar un sonido que así como el grunge o el joropo, es muestra única de un sitio, de su cultura y de una época. - Cool Hunting Project


each Boys, Sublime, Longbeach Dub Allstars y en tonos más punk Pennywise, Rancid y RX-Bandits, son los Cliff Notes a la hora de querer aprender el sonido de California.

The Smiles fácilmente puede entrar en esta categoría de bandas esenciales cuando se quiere estar cerca de Redondo Beach a través de un par de cornetas. Es por ello que su primer EP titulado Hermosa, que hace eco a la famosa playa del sur de California del mismo nombre, inicia lo que han denominado el movimiento del grunge tropical.

The Smiles es rock n´ roll con tonos geek. Es la música de ese perdedor que siempre busca a la chica bonita de la playa y ella ni voltea por andar pendiente del primer tipo jerseyshoreando en la esquina. Es música para relajarte en la playa y estar con tu chica -yo lo haré con la mía en par de semanas-. Es música que debería matar todo lo que no sirve en las radios actualmente.

Su sencillo “Cala Cola”, que si Dios existe debería ser el jingle de la próxima campaña de la famosa bebida gaseosa que te recuerda el nombre de la canción, parece el hijo dulce y bastardo de una orgía entre los moembros de Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit y The Strokes.

Si los diccionarios tuviesen la posibilidad de reproducir música alusiva a un significado, esta canción decoraría la definición “pegajoso”. Hay música para domingo “Sun”. Música romántica con acordes de cuerdas playeras “I Could Love You More”. Música de pre puberto “Girl I Love”. Música como debe ser: sin pretensiones ni grandes producciones; sólo ganas de divertirte, de playa y de conservar un sonido que así como el grunge o el joropo, es muestra única de un sitio, de su cultura y de una época. - Cool Hunting Project


The weather is beautiful, family is in town, the grill is lit and the wine is flowing; TGIF!

The Smiles have an EP out featuring two tracks, ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘Sun.’ Both are dripping in the sun pop sound (think Vampire Weekend’s debut minus the Afro-Pop). The songs are perfect for this summer atmosphere. Simple, fun and goes great with wine. Take a listen to both below and support them at BandCamp. - Say It Like Slam


Naming your band “The Smiles” is pretty much asking for punchlines, but the Los Angeles group”s “Cala Cola” delivers on the nom de plume‘s promise. Jangly, sweet and high-energy in a way that recalls a beach-ready, less Africa/boat shoe-obsessed Vampire Weekend (and Rawkblog recent favorites International Waters), the track offers chill waves the old-fashioned way. - Rawkblog


As far as I’m concerned there are two types of music fan. Those who when faced with the prospect of listening to a band called THE SMILES from Los Angeles will either run away, or those who feel their hearts swelling at the prospect already.

Just so we know what we’re getting ourselves into here let’s list a few more facts. The band are all college students from Southern California, they claim their music to be either “beach rock” or “tropical grunge” and the longest song on their debut 6 track EP clocks in at 3 minutes and 9 seconds.

They are also influenced by The Beach Boys, but if you hadn’t figured that out yet I don’t think this is the band for you.

For those of you still reading, the thing that sets The Smiles apart from the many other ‘perfect summer soundtrack’ bands is the glorious song-writing partnership of vocalists John McGrath and Will Sturgeon. There’s a tension that runs all the way through the EP as they weave in and out of each other’s lines. These are two very distinct voices and melodic writers. Not to hyperbolise, but just as you can differentiate between a Lennon or McCartney melody in early Beatles’ songs, you soon tune into the different characteristics of the songwriters. In a similar way that McCartney’s urgency is crushed by Lennon’s bleak realism in We Can Work It Out, HERMOSA is bursting with instances where the two front-men finish off and expand upon each other’s ideas.

The EP begins with a lament over the lack of financial stability, with The Smiles almost crooning “I grew up in some hand-me-down clothes”. However, the two front men jostle and fight for control over the direction of the song until the original vocalist is forced out of the way and his replacement is left coldly stating “we take money from charities and never give it back” as a solution to the original problem.

This combination of two conflicting personas is what makes The Smiles so enticing. While a lot of laid back West Coast music can be frustratingly one dimensional, Hermosa captures the neurosis and doubt that is the essence of human existence. Imagine taking a pretty girl out on a date, it’s a sunny day and everything is going unbelievably well but for some reason you can’t stifle the voice inside your head that keeps repeating “she thinks you’re an idiot”. That’s exactly what The Smiles sound like.

This tension is present throughout the arrangements of the songs. Obviously aided by being recorded in a restrictive basement at Hermosa Beach, the music is constantly tightly pushing to get out of its confines. When the interlocking instrumentation eventually lets loose in a flurry of Keith Moon style drumming at the end of Girl I Love, it produces a release the whole EP has been building up to.

Despite a few moments where the obvious influence of Vampire Weekend threatens to swallow up the uniqueness in the song-writing, The Smiles have produced a debut EP that makes them one of my favourite finds of the year. Then again, I do like this sort of thing. - Whisperin And Hollerin


At first blush, the Smiles confirmed my worst fears: Vampire Weekend is contagious. But the L.A.-based quartet composed of four guys who met at USC aren’t quite the pop sophisticates of the East Coasters — the strain of indie on the Smiles’ debut EP falls has more in common with the bouncy, winsome pop of local quartet Princeton. The Smiles’ EP, released in May, is called “Hermosa,” after the beach town where it was recorded, and band members Will Sturgeon, John McGrath, Brendan Kirlin and Mark Edwards financed it with a Kickstarter campaign. They whimsically call it “tropical grunge,” and most of it smells of California music made by people who aren’t from California — i.e., “Sun,” “Swimming” and the well-worn title “California Girls.” But if you’re downing some colorful drink west of the 405 in the bright sunshine, you could do worse for summertime music. - BuzzBands LA


Discography

Hermosa - EP (May 2010)

Photos

Bio

The Smiles is an indie rock quartet comprised of four college students in Los Angeles, CA. Though we like to think that we play "beach rock" or "tropical grunge", individually, none of us grew up on the Pacific. Collectively, we are from Baltimore, Maryland, Austin, Texas, and Palm Desert, California.

Will Sturgeon and John McGrath met in 2009 at the University of Southern California. They wrote songs together in their dorm rooms until, in September of 2009, Brendan Kirlin joined them on guitar and Mark Edwards joined them on drums. Will picked up the bass, and The Smiles started playing house parties at USC. They became one of the go-to bands on campus, and were selected as the only student band to play KSCR's annual music fest. They also landed a spot at one of UCSD's biggest music festivals, Muirstock. As The Smiles grew together over the next few months, they started recording their debut EP, Hermosa. To release it, they set a goal of $2000 to raise on the brilliant fundraising site Kickstarter, reaching and exceeding their goal in under 24 hours.

Hermosa - EP came out in May 2010. The title of this 6-song EP comes from the city where it was recorded, Hermosa Beach, CA. We mixed, recorded, and produced the EP in our friends basement.

In the Fall of 2010, we've started to play in downtown LA at established venues such as The Roxy, The Bootleg Theater, and 3 Clubs, among others. The reception has been very positive, and our fan base is expanding rapidly.

We recently made the EP free to download at our bandcamp website. http://thesmiles.bandcamp.com

Who knows how much longer we'll be in school.