Dallas Smith released his third country EP to iTunes today. The highly anticipated release comes on the heels of his debut US single “Wastin’ Gas” and five straight top ten hits in Canada. For Smith Lifted is the culmination of five years of hard work, and it shows. The seven song EP features six new tracks and a live version of the rock heavy hit “Tippin’ Point.”
The record opens with “Wastin’ Gas” a song where, “Big guitars reign through and a strong back beat makes you want to get up, dance, and sing along.” It sets the tone for the remainder of the record. Smith has a rock background and you can hear it throughout. He and producer Joey Moi have worked hard to perfect a sound that’s uniquely his own. Lifted is the result, it has everything you’d want from a country rocker. There’s plenty of guitar, driving drum beats, and lyrics that you can connect with. Title track “Lifted” may be the best example.
It’s a song that makes you feel something. Smith brings the listener back to their high school days, when young love and freedom were all that mattered. “We were high on nothin’ but livin’ and lovin’,” sings Smith in the chorus with the help of Chris McHugh’s¹ driving drum beat behind him. Smith notes that the record was recorded with a live band, unlike the Tippin Point EP which was done with a lot of loops. Crank up any of the records original tracks and you’ll feel as if you have your own personal Dallas Smith concert going.
The goal for Dallas Smith and his team with Lifted was to introduce his music to the United States. The album should be able to do that and more. The six new tracks are consumer friendly – walking the line between country and rock perfectly. Smith’s rock background is prevalent throughout, and that’s what he wants. Smith told Country Music North, “It’s part of who I am. So the guitars and energy in the songs that you’re hearing doesn’t come from a contrived place, it’s definitely real.”
As the record comes to a close you’ll want to hit repeat and crank it up again, which is exactly what Smith and Moi were hoping to accomplish. Anytime an artist is introducing themselves into a genre it’s important to stay true to your sound. For Smith that’s a rock background with a touch of country. Sure, plenty of artists are shifting further and further from a distinctly country sound and even more are trying to incorporate rock elements into their new music. However, none have ten years of experience as a member of a successful rock group² like Smith. That allows his sound to come across as natural. His voice suits the sound perfectly and that’s what you want when you’re trying to break into country music.
¹ Keith Urban’s on tour drummer.
² Smith was the lead singer for the Canadian rock group Default from 1999 to 2009.
To learn more about Dallas check out our interview with the Lifted singer here.