Kirk Smith | Suddenly Bright Out

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Suddenly Bright Out

by Kirk Smith

Avant-Garde playwright branches out with this collection of broken radio rock and aching, lo-fi folk.
Genre: Pop: Britpop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stop comets
3:41 $0.99
2. All our own way
3:43 $0.99
3. Suddenly so bright
4:47 $0.99
4. Anniversary
3:32 $0.99
5. Not on my side
4:59 $0.99
6. February (Somone hears)
5:10 $0.99
7. The world comes back
4:20 $0.99
8. Aloud
4:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT, Smith abandons the big picture and embraces a journey filled with specific, personal discoveries that he follows devotedly. Smith's dedication and curiosity bring to mind a less strident Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), and his method recalls the ingenuity a younger, tougher David Bowie.

Smith has won recent acclaim for his avant-garde theatre work, and his literary roots rise to the surface in the album's rich, detailed lyrics - stories Smith populates variously with images of the night sky, visions of trust and betrayal, and dreams of flying.

His knack for narrative structure is apparent in the album's pacing. Imagine PJ Harvey's post-punk blues yielding naturally to the aching lo-fi folk of Badly Drawn Boy. Structure is a necessity for Smith, who claims the eight songs on SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT correspond directly to the eight hours between 11pm and 7am that he almost never sleeps.

The album opens with STOP COMETS, one of several jagged riff-driven numbers. The melody clings stubbornly to a lean drum beat over which Smith declares, "Every safe bet ends up worthless." It's a theme that reoccurs throughout SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT, extending even to the recording process.

Smith played nearly all the instruments himself, and engineered most of the recording sessions as well. Exceptions were made on two tracks that include Dave Robinson (Drums-The Scabs) and George Reiff (Bass-Black Crowes' Chris Robinson). The album was mixed by Austin's 2004 "Producer of the Year", Lars Goransson (The Cardigans, Fastball, Shane Bartell).

"I wanted flexibility, you know? And part of that meant making the record alone, as much as possible. Plus I thought it ought to have a solitary feeling -- but I didn't necessarily want it to be spare, instrument wise." And it isn't. SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT enjoys a wide variety of sonic textures

Throughout the course of the record Smith offers up several scenes of people waiting - for a solution, for their lover to return, and especially for the sun to rise, but the record's final image is perhaps the most interesting. After unpacking the contents of a recent dream, Smith sings of his desire to make it more real. The album's last lines read, "On a full moon lit night sky/how I'd be so proud/if I could dance like this/aloud".

Sasha Kevlar



to write a review

John Walch

I first saw Kirk Smith play live here in NYC and—while there’s no substitute for the live experience—there is this smartly produced CD filled with 8 alternatively rocking and haunting songs. A musician with a writer’s panache, Smith knows his way around a metaphor and coaxes meaning from an analogy as effortlessly as his songs find their groove. Give this one a try.

Rose Hansen

Can't believe it's this good!
The last track on this record, a song called ALOUD, is my favorite song of all time. Suddenly Bright Out is a wonderfully ecclectic collection of songs. The range of textures is surprising, and the singing is absolutely fantastic. I alternate between keeping the CD in my car to listen to loud while I drive fast, and putting it on in my office to listen to while I write.

Mackenzie Paulson

It rocks!
The cd is awsome. I'm 17 and I think its an actual genuine cd. Its very honest, and just real. I dig it! The words are pure and powerful.

Sellout Magazine

Aggressively articulate and consistently compelling, with a definite flair for t
Kirk Smith's aggressively articulate debut CD reveals that he's not merely another emerging artist from Austin, but one who's already exposed himself and is just waiting for the crowd to gather 'round, staring and pointing.

Daring to shun the theatre world by writing music for the masses instead of plays for the pretentious, for which he had recently received wide acclaim, Smith returned to writing what he started with in the first place - music.

While Suddenly Bright Out's assertive opener, "Stop Comets", pays tribute to Smith's hometown with a definitively Austin vibe, this is hardly where his strength lies. He's at his best on more gentle, aura-laden songs like "Suddenly So Bright", where he quite effortlessly accomplishes unfailing vocal clarity over a wide range, and "Anniversary", where tentative chords taunt and tease the listener further inward.

Smith's dramatic lyrical style is consistently compelling, evident of his theatrical experience. His songs offer both the unexpected with the familiar, which makes them powerfully passionate and persuasive, yet still tangibly fragile. But nowhere is his music as sweetly serendipitous as on the last track, "Aloud", a sentimental acoustic ballad that offers up everyman's hidden fears in the simple poetry of, "If I could dance like this aloud."


What a wonderful record! Love the singing, and the writing is literary and smart.

Jared Cicon

Innovative. Sounds like the songs had multiple writers.
U2 could have had Kirk Smith as lead vocalist and been just as successful. (This is not a knock on Bono, . . . just an observation). Being a writer myself, I apprectiate the difficulty in writing alone and creating something focused,
yet contrastingly aesthetic. K.S. seems to have accomplished just that. Kudo's to you Kirk. Keep up the good work. I will be listening, . . . and am sure I am not alone.

Christa Young

SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT is a bold and illuminating collection.
Smith's work on SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT is passionate,spirited and intelligent. Surprisingly tender and aggressive in turns, each piece is as varied as one day is from the next in his BRIGHT world.

Matt Patterson

A insightful, often exciting record from a brilliant lyricist
When I put Kirk Smith's Suddenly Bright Out on my CD player it appropriately started raining outside. After the wicked one-two punch of Stop Comets and the Bowie-esque All Our Own Way, the tone changes, becomes melancholy, moody, especially on the standout tracks Suddenly So Bright and February (Someone Hears). The deluge became a perfect accompaniment to this lovely, lyrically-brilliant record. No need to wait for a rainy day.