Dynamic, fun, and unafraid, Smokey Brights shine a powerful light on their dark side with Taste For Blood. If you asked someone a year ago what beloved Seattle, WA quintet Smokey Brights sounded like, you’d hear adorations of summer fun and feel-good vibes. While it’s undeniable that they’d been warming local airwaves with their take on classic AM pop magic, the band were already growing beyond that. Now with Taste For Blood Smokey Brights have embraced the unknown and found something bigger, expansive, and lush, with a sound that seems destined for the big stage.
Smokey Brights were born humble indie-folk roots and quickly released their home-recorded demo, Can’t Rightly Say, in 2010. While the production was minimal, lead singer Ryan Devlin’s (formerly of Seattle’s brash garage outfit The Whore Moans) songwriting was strong; catchy, thoughtful and memorable. As important, he’d assembled the perfect team with which to grow the band’s sound.
Vocalist and keyboardist (and Devlin’s wife) Kim West sings with a voice that seems to have been designed to harmonize with Devlin. Having played together for over a decade, bassist Jim Vermillion and drummer Nick Krivchenia came as a package deal, already hard-forged brothers in rhythm. Lead guitarist Mike Kalnoky had been playing in punk and garage bands in Seattle for years, and his part-Nashville, part-rock and roll Telecaster technique – so integral to classic American rock, yet seldom found in modern indie bands – traces glowing edges across the melodic foundation laid down by the rest of the band.
Even before releasing a full length, Smokey Brights were playing standout sets at some of the Pacific Northwest’s largest festivals (Bumbershoot, Doe Bay Fest, Timber! Fest), selling out their own headline shows, and building a core group of fans via word of mouth alone.
With Taste For Blood Smokey Brights have taken the best of their previous work and pushed fearlessly forward, rushing headlong into an uncharted, undefined future. Growing from strong seventies rock roots, their sound has bloomed into sparking, unselfconsciously grand anthemic rock. Refreshingly un-ironic, Taste For Blood harkens back to a time when an album was more than a collection of singles, it was a comprehensive, holistic emotional journey.
Taste for Blood was tracked in January of 2014 at a barn on a Christmas tree farm in rural Carnation, Washington. The band called in every favor they could, borrowing vintage mics, outboard gear, and a fridge sized Leslie from the 50’s and worked nearly nonstop for eight days. With one large room for tracking and a cozy sleeping loft, the band shared the space with a large barn owl and frie.