Constant Smiles (Martha’s Vineyard/ Brooklyn, NY) play the Dorchester Art Project with Little Musket, Illich (JP) & Headliner Frank Hurricane December 5th for an all ages show. ‘Divine’ is the latest album in an absurdly overlooked catalog of the mysterious project based psych rocker(s?) releasing & performing music as Constant Smiles. To perhaps settle the mystery, come out to the show and also enjoy the musical stylings of the lo-fi home-recorded Little Musket, the also mysterious Illich, and the eclectic & zany Frank Hurricane. TAKE the ticket from the Boston Hassle & help us make the Boston music scene stranger.
Constant Smiles’ new release, “Divine”, is full of dreamscape orchestral music made by Martha’s Vineyard/ Brooklyn psych rockers who do not wish to comply with conventional norms or fellow genre revivalists. Putting a finger on what Constant Smiles genre may be is a futile effort. Too ambient oriented to be rock-pop, too driven to be considered shoe-gaze. “Divine” may listen like a carefully crafted movie score, but perhaps is best described as a complex otherworldly artifact akin to the reclusive & vibe oriented nature of Boards of Canada.
This ambitious full length opens up with a title track: “Divine”, an introduction that carefully uses noise as a tool as opposed to an idea, starting with a building crescendo of violins and other warbling synths, to create an image of a budding new universe. It builds and lasts just the right amount of time before crashing into “Out of It”, which sits somewhere on the fence between 90’s acoustic grunge and stoner pop, but without some of the more boring trappings of either genre. Constant Smiles just seems downright intent on taking whatever atmosphere they may pick up and actually write a god-damn song with it.
The sound engineering on this record, not in a mixing sense but instead a cinematic sense, is texturally profound. Many of the great songs on this record are broken up with room to breath and a series of short sound breakdowns split into many parts titled “Seascape” and “Interlude”. These moments in the record are all nubered, and organized into chapters, all slightly different, and make for a really interesting journey through the music of “Divine”.
I may be wrong, but Constant Smiles actually feels a bit more like a collective of musicians, who all bring their own ideas to the table and may take the lead on different songs. “In Our Sleep” has a more back country folk sound to it, “Drop Out Of Life” is a more glossy post-punk, and “Breath Out” is a more relaxed, reverby indie-surf rock spirit. But to me this is the most amazing part of this record: how they are able to tie all of these sounds together into one big coherent album. “Divine” by Constant Smiles is a great experience & is a forward thinking approach that is able to usher nostalgic, unforgettable music into the modern era & well into the 21st century.
Check out more of their music and info about the band at www.constantsmilesmusic.com