NYCS First Impression: Smithfield ‘We Make Our Own’ EP
While country duo Smithfield may be best known for their dark 2018 single, “Hey Whiskey,” the rising stars are back with a much sunnier EP, We Make Our Own. The EP, released today (March 1), is the first project the duo has released in three years, reflecting a more mature and polished pair. The seven-track collection is a feelgood mix of songs, highlighting the special and harmonic bond between childhood friends Jennifer Fielder and Trey Smith.
While releasing music without a major record label may possess its challenges, Smithfield embraced it with their new EP, revealing, “Achieving what we have without a major record label is something we (and our team) are very proud of, and is why we named the EP: We Make Our Own. We wanted to make a project that moved and had hooky melodies, but still stayed true who we are as artists. It’s also been 3 years since we released an EP, so we wanted to do this for the fans, as much as ourselves.”
When it came to creating the EP, the duo worked diligently to craft a varied and diverse project, reflected through various tempos, themes, messages, and emotions over the course of the tracks. There’s the declarative and uptempo title track, “We Make Our Own,” the nostalgic “Still A Few,” and the wistful if “If You Were Mine.” Of the collection, Smithfield reveals to us in a recent interview, “Our criteria for choosing songs is first always: do WE love this song as a listener? Then we have to look at the project as a whole and say, ‘Have we said everything we wanted to?” We also feel like you need to have a good mix of emotions and feeling throughout the journey as you’re listening to an EP. For instance: you don’t want all slow sad songs, but you also don’t want all upbeat party songs. It’s a long process of listening to what you’ve recorded over and over to visualize the body of work as a whole.”
While listening to the EP, an immediate standout track is “Still A Few,” which Smith lists as his favorite. “It reminds me of my grandpa, and just truly moves me when we sing it.” The song is a melodic blast from the past, celebrating nostalgia and the things that are still around today, albeit few and far between. While Smith veers to the sentimental, Fielder points to “Me No You” as her favorite track, saying, “I just love how the chorus hits you; it was one that actually surprised me when we were done with the project, and listening back. It’s such a jam!”
Other highlights of the album include the title track and the closing track, “Our World,” which shows Smithfield trading off vocals and celebrating the unique ways in which they grew up. They shine on the nostalgic midtempo, harmonizing as they sing, “We knew it all back when we didn’t have a clue” and “Everyone else was just living in our world.” The duo also shines on “If You Were Mine,” which celebrates the glory of the chase. The duo trades off lead here, starting with the guy pursuing the girl before Fielder sings, “If you were my best friend, you’d be the kind with benefits, If you were my radio, I’d turn you on and on and on.”
As for what’s next for Smithfield? The duo revealed to NYCountrySwag that they have some big shows coming up this year, including Stagecoach, CMA Fest, and the Grand Ole Opry. They also revealed that they’ll be touring all over this summer as well, and hope to have some exciting Fall tour announcements coming soon!
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