The Jezabels have rightfully broken through into the pop-rock elite, especially on the strength of this year’s excellent Synthia. “Smile” is proof that their position is warranted, flowing from a deceptive soft rock intro to a chorus that strikes with the force of a gale. It’s latently ferocious, waiting until just the right moment to bite with swirling guitars and crashing percussion operating under lead singer Hayley Mary’s misanthropic howl. The song’s wandering ethos fits in well with the video, featuring Mary’s best “Bittersweet Symphony” impression: she wanders from place to place, not settling down for even a moment, while relishing the music behind her.
“We wanted something simple that allowed the song to just tell it’s story. The walk-of-shame idea just seemed a perfect. I mean, what is a walk of shame?” says Mary. “Depends on who’s walking it, where they’ve been the night before and what events in their lives led them there. You might have a skip in your step ’cause you got laid, a mild feeling of shame or just want to bury yourself in the earth for all eternity. There was something nice about how that idea mirrored the conflicting voices of the song; the potential for in-the-moment fun, and deep long-lasting sadness that always exist at the same time.”
Synthia released on February 12.