Several years ago, I had the opportunity to interview country duo Smithfield. It was a lovely summer day in Los Angeles and I listened as Jennifer Fielder and Trey Smith told me their story. The pair have been family friends for such a long time and started their duo a decade ago. Hailing from Texas and sharing such a unique bond has allowed them to withstand the test of time. When you listen to their music, you will be transported to a sound that isn’t as common in country music today, the blending harmonies of a male and female voice. The power of a male/female duo.
There have been a few male/female duo’s over the the last couple of decades, Thompson Square and Sugarland are the most prominent. There has been so much success with each group, and yet still not enough credit to the power of the male/female duo. I was able to talk to Smithfield about the power of the female/male duo and how much they bring to the table. The story telling and the chemistry they can share on stage. We spoke about how even though there have been other male/female duos, there hasn’t been as much success with getting airplay on the radio. We mentioned how successful trio Lady A has been with similar song content and the way their songs are designed to really give equal vocals to both a male and female voice.
It has been a couple of years since their last EP release, so we chatted about their upcoming release New Town and it felt like talking with old friends. Their EP, set to release June 16, is one that was truly made in a labor of love. The project was funded by a kickstarter campaign by their fans. Variety Beat is definitely proud to be one of those contributors. As such, we were also privy to listening to a couple of songs that have yet to be released. More on that below!
Fielder spoke about recording their EP New Town that wrapped up two days before the world shut down due to the global pandemic. The duo’s plan to release the new music kept getting pushed back as they realized this was not going to just be a quick shut down, but actually go on for months and months. Once time continued to pass they decided to wait to release their new music and instead release a Christmas song, which they have always wanted to do.
Now in 2021, there are new and exciting opportunities as the country begins to open back up. It finally feels like the right time to release the EP they made a year ago. The six song EP includes two previously released tracks, “Sunday Best” and “Something Sexy.” Fielder explained the theme of the EP and how each song tells a story inside of a story. The EP shares a story about the ups and downs of relationships. Fielder described “New Town” as that freshness and newness of falling in love with somebody. “Something Sexy” is about going to that next level where things begin to get very romantic. “Burning Wings” is when you hit a bump and hard blocks in relationships. It also has rock vibe to it, which made Trey extremely happy to hear since he used to be in a rock band prior to forming the duo Smithfield. Fielder continued to explain that “Sunday Best” is when you look past those hardships and love them anyway. “I’ll Never Stop” tells the story of when things don’t work out but you still have to keep going and you still have love for that person.
Since contributing to the kickstarter, I was able to listen to “Burning Wings” and “I’ll Never Stop.” I can say with confidence that there is something on this EP for anyone who has been in a relationship. The power and harmonies of the male/female duo is something that is unexplainable.
The duo will kick off their EP release with a full band show in Nashville, June 17 to celebrate the release. They are excited to sing all their own songs with a full capacity show. They are also excited to be headlining at a venue and are grateful for the opportunity to play for their fans and get back to playing live shows again after a year of not being able to perform. Be sure to check out their new EP New Town available everywhere music is streamed June 16!
The show will be streamed live on American Songwriter’s Facebook page, SmithField’s YouTube and Facebook, 3rd & Lindsley’s Facebook page, and nugs.net. This show comes on the heels of their highly anticipated EP, which is set to release on Wednesday, June 16. Pre-save/pre-add NEW TOWN HERE.