Pop Meets Folk

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 31, 2013 5:00 AM

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Since her first appearance in Minneapolis as an 18-year-old singer/songwriter in 2006, Caroline Smith has made her way into the Midwest’s artistic community.

Her career as a solo artist started with a residency at a Minneapolis bar in which she developed her original sound, which can be described as simple chord structures supporting pop-vocal melodies.

Smith is most recognized for her alto singing voice, which “quivers through vibrato” in a classic and controlled way imitating such past musicians as Billie Holiday, Leslie Feist, and Joanna Newsom.

Smith will bring her vocal sensations to Iowa City in an album-release show at 9 p.m. at Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St. Admission ranges from $12 to $15.

After Smith found her own sound, in 2007, she became friends with drummer Arlen Peiffer of Cloud Cult, bassist Jesse Schuster, and multi-instrumentalist David Earl, who eventually joined to form the Good Night Sleeps to support Smith’s folk tunes.

Smith and the Good Night Sleeps released their début album in 2008, Backyard Tent Set.

The instrumental sounds on the album include that of acoustic guitar, banjo, piano, and glockenspiel while Smith’s sultry voice floats above providing a playful and pop flair.

This independently released LP gained popularity online, on air, and on tour.

Seven national tours later, Smith and the Good Night Sleeps have received a loyal following around the United States, specifically in the Midwest.

After the success of that first album, Smith and Schuster decided to record a CD of live duo songs in the folk tradition. This album, Caroline Smith and Jesse Schuster Live at the Cedar, received a lot of praise from fans around the country and within six months of its release was completely sold out.

The band recently finished recording a new full length album Little Wind, which provides more musical arrangements giving it a modern indie rock feel.

— by Samantha Gentry

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