Tracklisted…with Smith & Thell

News / Special Features / Tracklisted / May 18, 2017

Much like the classic mixtape, Tracklisted presents a collection of songs under a selected theme, which you can check out below. Click on the provided Spotify playlist and listen to this week’s arrangement while you read a few words about the selections.

Mary Jane Smith and Victor Thell make up the Swedish pop/folk duo Smith & Thell, and much like their contemporaries Mumford & Sons and The Strumbellas, they have an appreciation for country-rock and Americana that we over in the States have a tendency to take for granted. It spills over well into their new album, Soulprints, with anthemic tunes that float along a leisurely sprawling line. The duo contributed to today’s Tracklisted feature with a playlist of 10 songs that directly inspired the new record, which is now available to purchase digitally.

Porcupine Tree — The Sound Of Muzak
We’ve loved this treasure for many years and consider it a hidden gem which has inspired us experimentally. Especially love the change in the chorus and the odd beat.

Paul Simon — You Can Call Me Al
This song just makes us happy! We love the spoken, yet sung verse and how unique this song still is after all these years. Paul Simon is our happy-clappy inspiration.

Alanis Morisette — Ironic
These lyrics just vibe with our being. You smile when you hear this song, yet it talks about the sad irony of life. Simply genius. We never get tired of this song.

Ani Difranco — School Night
She is a lyrical genius. Reading the text of the song is like reading a well-written, poetic book. The metaphors she uses in this song are so spot on, like a metaphorical punch in the stomach. It’s a long and slow song but really worth listening to a few times as the more you listen, the more you uncover what the story is really about. Just wow.

The Gabe Dixon Band — All Will Be Well
Love the fast but easy flowing piano. This song really has that hopeful vibe that connects with our souls. Great road trip song!

Bon Iver — Perth
We’ve listened to this song a ridiculous amount of times. The guitar line is so simple but says so much. An in-between world of sadness and hope, yet the world becomes a beautiful place when listening to it.

Mumford & Sons — There Will Be Time
Love the landscape in this song and how it takes a folky sound and mixes it up with African vibes. It has a breakdown that really could be a rock-riff, but because of the instruments they use, it becomes something brand new. A wonderful song that makes us dream about adventures.

Simon & Garfunkel — Cecilia
This production is really something different. Thinking about the tools they had back in those days and how it almost sounds as if they had modern technology and sampled a beat via cut and paste. We do a lot of that; cut and paste and sample our own recorded sounds. And the lyrics and storytelling are great! He sings that he just went to the bathroom to wash his face, when he comes back, she’s basically sleeping with his friend. He then sings eloquently that “You broke my heart’ “not like it would sound today though (something like “these hoes ain’t loyal”) and then when she finally comes back to him, he’s happy again. Haha! Just love the classic/hippie feel to that!

Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi
She was an experimental lady and we are inspired by people that experiment with music, yet who can write a great hook and lyric. We used to experiment a lot with tuning guitars in different ways like she did. When we discovered her, it felt like we found an old friend.

Coldplay — Swallowed In The Sea
A nostalgic song for us. It makes us think about when we got our first real record deal and the feeling of accomplishment and being noticed for our hard work.

Smith & Thell’s new album, “Soulprints,” is now available to purchase digitally or to stream on all streaming services.

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David Fisch
David Fisch is a Partner and Producer at LA Music Blog and a contributor to Modern Vinyl. When he isn't spending most of his time listening to his latest vinyl pick-up or discovering new music on streaming services, he is a filmmaker, photographer, and podcast host.

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