Song Premiere: The Lil Smokies “Movies”

August 18, 2022
Song Premiere: The Lil Smokies “Movies”

Missoula, Mont.-born and busking-bred quintet, The Lil Smokes, are preparing to release their first post-pandemic studio tracks with a three-song series East Side Sessions.

The ensemble, whose genre-bending and instrumental adroitness took them from the sidewalk in 2009 to iconic venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater and festivals including High Sierra, FloydFest, Telluride and LOCKN’ over the last decade, have returned with a new lineup and a reinvigorated sound.

The group is now comprised of Andy Dunnigan (dobro, vocals), Matthew Rieger (guitar, vocals), Jake Simpson (fiddle, vocals), Jean-Luc Davis (upright bass) and Caleb Dostal (Banjo)–Davis and Dostal joined in 2021–and recorded East Side Sessions in Nashville, Tenn. with producer Bill Reynolds (The Avett Brothers, Band Of Horses). The tenderhearted bittersweet result is lush with nostalgia and newfound gratitude following the pandemic. The project is amplified by the ensemble’s individual virtuosic playing, which projects a genuine avidity toward a new day.

Today, we premiere “Movies,” the first song off East Side Sessions. The track, which was in part written before the lockdowns, reflects on the palpable difference in the pre and post-pandemic world – acting as an expression of grief but also serving as a lens that has locked on to perseverance that comes from a deep-seated need to create.

“Songwriting has a tendency to be eerily prophetic every so often. I wrote the chorus of ‘Movies’ right before lockdown- I think I was grieving the loss of the ‘old world’ in the face of a rapidly changing new one,” Dunnigan told Relix, whose howling vocals shine on the track. “Then Covid hit. I wrote the rest of the song in the throes of lockdown. The words stayed the same but the meaning definitely took on several new layers.”

Listen to The Lil Smokies “Movies” below.