A song that immediately made it to the top of our 2020 Vision Playlist, from the moment that clean guitar sound and the clap of the beat kicked in, with the deal sealed when Brei Carter’s vocals stepped up to the stage.
What a great song. An Americana classic with a certain contemporary softness that quickly brings it right through to the modern day. Smiling not only sounds stylistically satisfying, organic and shoulder-swaying, soulful and melodically addictive, but it means something brilliantly real, too.
Brei Carter takes us through the stages of this story in a seductive, calming way. You almost don’t notice the inherent pain of the song thanks to all of this beauty, purity, and the gentle, non-revealing tone of her voice. When you listen more intently though, this concept of smiling through the pain hits hard. It’s a deeply human, relatable and increasingly poignant reference, and it connects on a refreshingly authentic level.
A beautiful pop-country tune with a Gospel-led outro that tops everything off beautifully. From mellow, acoustic beginnings, to a bright and uplifting finish, Smiling is an absolute hit. Gorgeously performed, well captured, and brilliantly presented. Well worth a few spins this year.