It feels like perhaps far too long since something new emerged from singer and songwriter Grant Smith, his music is always a pleasure to have play for you – his depth and honesty come through gorgeously on every release. The reason for this absence, as it were, is that he recently joined the US army and is currently in training. Fortunately, a strong part of his passion still falls in the way of music, perhaps even more so having embarked upon something so huge. This live release of a song entitled Amber is his first as a Combat Medic in training and a beautiful new addition to his catalogue.
There’s something immediately compelling about the song, and although this could be said about most (if not all) of his releases prior to this, there’s something additionally captivating here – a certain, unquestionable aura of truth and realness, that draws you in so closely to really consider every moment.
From a songwriting perspective, Grant Smith always writes from the heart, always manages to successfully fuse the personal and the poetic. In this case, his new ties to the world of combat and protection conjure up a whole world of ideas and images in the mind of the listener, so the words he sings – the scenes he lays out before us – emerge with all the more poignancy from the offset.
Perhaps more entrancing than the words alone is the passion and intensity with which they are performed. Living so many thousands of miles away it can seem impossible that a live show from a treasured indie artist will ever wander close by, but something as raw and authentic as this seeks to effectively bridge that gap and offer that intimate, personal listening experience just how it was intended to be. Grant puts in a flawless performance on this single and the words hit with so much more impact thanks to the real-time capture.
The song is about war, simply put – about fighting for what you believe in; precisely what Grant is doing with his music and indeed with his life right now. There will undoubtedly be many, many listeners who will connect with and appreciate the openness and style with which he presents Amber. A heart breakingly provocative song that’s incredibly powerful and incredibly relevant at the same time. A simple, purely-piano-driven chord progression backs up Smith’s melodic outpouring, making for a fairly minimalist but mighty piece of music and performance.