SMITH & MYERS, the duo comprised of SHINEDOWN‘s Brent Smith and Zach Myers, has released dual singles from its forthcoming full-length album, “Smith & Myers Volume 1”, due out October 9 via Atlantic Records, alongside a brand new music video. Original single “Not Mad Enough” was written in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd‘s death, expressing the intense emotions that followed and laying bare a plea for racial justice through direct and urgent lyrics over acoustic guitar. The song is paired with the release of a poignant version of “Rockin’ In The Free World”, highlighting Neil Young‘s timeless lyrics that are just as relevant today over lone piano.
“Not Mad Enough” and “Rockin’ In The Free World” are an introduction to SMITH & MYERS‘s eloquent songcraft, indelible melodies and glorious vocals created with nothing more than a microphone and an instrument or two. The “Not Mad Enough” video, directed by Paris Visone, can be seen below.
“Smith & Myers Volume 1” features five original tunes and five re-imaginings of fan-submitted songs, including Post Malone‘s “Better Now”, INXS‘s “Never Tear Us Apart”, Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse‘s “Valerie”, and THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS‘ “Unchained Melody”.
Smith says: “We’ve spent a great deal of time and energy making sure this project is completely authentic. The main reason SMITH & MYERS exists has to do with the fans. A project that was born from multiple requests over the years has now evolved into its true identity. Make no mistake — it’s about the songs, it’s about the story, and above all it’s about the message.”
Adds Myers: “It was an odd time to make a record at the beginning of a global pandemic, but the state of the world is reflected in the art we made on this album. It was some of the most creative times I’ve ever had as a musician or a songwriter. For the covers, we felt that we should approach them as a duo as if we had written the song modern day. With the originals, Brent and I had never discussed some of this subject matter before and we dug so deep while also touching on a world that’s rapidly changing around us the last eight months. We felt it would be disingenuous not to touch on social issues we ALL face as humans. We put a lot into this album and we truly hope you enjoy listening to it.”
With two hearts and one truth, lifelong musicians, longstanding friends, and eternal brothers Smith and Myers put forth a body of work encompassing vulnerability, fearlessness, honesty, outrage, love and understanding. “Smith & Myers Volume 1”, produced by Grammy Award winner and longtime collaborator Dave Bassett, is the duo’s first full-length album and first original music since releasing a pair of acoustic cover EPs, “Acoustic Sessions, Part 1” and “Acoustic Sessions, Part 2”, in 2014 when fans first fell in the love with the magic that is created between Brent and Zach in the studio and on stage, leading to SMITH & MYERS live shows that instantly sold out. With no boundaries on what their songwriting could discuss on the new album, Brent and Zach explore everything from certain personal topics that they have left largely unexplored until now, to commentary on children being ripped from their parents at the border, to the reactive nature of social media, to our national reckoning with racial and systemic injustice — focusing not on politics, but on right and wrong and our connection as human beings.
SMITH & MYERS will bring its powerful live duo show to a string of drive-in locations around Pennsylvania including Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park Parking Lot on September 3, Scranton’s Circle Drive-In on September 18, and Butler’s Starlight Drive-In on September 19.
SMITH & MYERS illuminates the depth of Brent and Zach as a duo and showcases a very different yet just as intriguing musical side of these two versatile artists. As one half of multiplatinum band SHINEDOWN, Brent and Zach can often be found topping the rock charts, earning mainstream recognition, and playing to sold-out arenas around the globe with 10 million albums and 10 million singles sold worldwide, 14 platinum and gold singles, five platinum and gold albums, more than 2.7 billion streams and 16 number one rock hits (breaking the record this week for the most ever #1s in the 39-year history of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart with their single “Atlas Falls”).
“Smith & Myers Volume 1” track listing:
01. Not Mad Enough
02. Rockin’ In The Free World
03. The Weight of It All
04. Better Now
06. Never Tear Us Apart
07. Coast To Coast
09. Since You Were Mine
10. Unchained Melody
Photo credit: Paris Visone