Sometimes, you need music that will serve as a slice of soul salvation. It doesn’t matter what genre, as long as it lifts your spirits and gets you through another day. This summer, ‘Peace In My Soul,’ from New York-based indie rock Americana band Smoke Ring Days, just could be that song. Check it out on YouTube here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7i1fQzsVMFcVSa48k1v33H?si=d2d35593e85a491c&nd=1
The song opens with a distinctive Thin Lizzy-style dual harmony guitar riff from multi-instrumentalist Rick Eppedio, paving a path for vocalist Cindy Keyser-Posner to come in with the first verse, describing isolation and alienation in an everyday, easily relatable way, before offering a mantra to soothe the solitude:
“Some days you doubt whether he cares
And if you need would she be there
Wondering as you keep on
What would it be like to be gone
So desperate to find direction
One that you pray leads the way home
If you cry ’cause life hurts
Close your eyes and just try these words
‘Well, there are few things in life I really need
To make me feel free and whole
Just bring some hope to my heart, joy to the world
And give me peace, peace in my soul’”
The feel-good vibe of the sing-along chorus is instantly accessible, and the entire song is driven by an infectious modern boogie groove and brightly colored tonality. However, the lyrics to ‘Peace In My Soul,’ while perfectly suited to summer radio play, are also introspective, with a hint of social awareness.
Listen on Spotify here:
Smoke Ring Days says the song was inspired by simply living in the world around them. “On any given day, there’s a lot to wrap your head around!” They go on to add they’re influenced by “the environment…one of social consciousness and fomenting change, finding your own ‘place on this planet’ from which to be of service – and simply be.”
An all-too-rare long-standing partnership in the music industry, Rick and Cindy began writing together as Barbarian Lovers, independently producing demos on a four-track in Rick’s childhood basement. Their very first co-write, the catchy electro-folk ’Round and Round,’ caught the ear of Blondie/Go-Gos producer Richard Gottehrer and resulted in an indie label offer.
Opting to take their act abroad, the band soon released their music in Europe on vinyl and, after an enthusiastic reception on the radio, formed their own independent record label in New York, Blue City Productions.
Putting out their first full length album, ‘Fatal Embrace,’ on the Blue City imprint that same year, the duo were lauded by Billboard’s Music & Media and scored substantial radio play and press throughout western Europe and Asia. The indie album was soon after released more widely in Europe by London-based Aura Records, where labelmates included Alex Chilton, Steve Marriott, Allan Clarke, and Nico.
Following two subsequent CDs, ‘Faith in a Desperate Place’ and ‘Dancing in Dreams,’ and a successful promo tour of Scandinavia, the band – compared by critics to acts ranging from Tears for Fears to Eurythmics – went on extended hiatus, eventually resurfacing as the harder-edged Smoke Ring Days.
Today, the duo continues to embrace an ethos which seeks to elevate awareness and create community through music they love, to share with others they hope will, too. And, as always, amidst the grit and grief shine layers of hope and optimism, the ‘perfect in our imperfection,’ as exemplified by their latest single/video, ‘Peace In My Soul.’