The Smith Street Band's songwriter and vocalist, Wil Wagner, recently swung by Rolling Stone's Sydney office to perform an acoustic version of "Laughing (Or Pretending To Laugh)," the closing track from the band's fourth LP, More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me.
The song documents the early stages of a romance, dragging us along as Wagner goes from "laying on the roof, somewhere in New York" to sitting out a snowstorm in a tour van to the realisation that he's not "inherently a piece of shit" — via a brilliant rhyming couplet of "Visa" and "Bacardi Breezer". An obfuscated, darting storyline that supplements the patched memory scenes it's sourced from, with the rawer, live delivery here similarly suiting that stream-of-conscious dump. Fragments of specific scenes and half-completed theories, all served just off-the-cuff.
More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me is due April 7th. Following which, the band head out on the road, with Wagner playing a small selection of solo acoustic shows ahead of Groovin' the Moo and headlines dates across Australia and Europe through May and June. Full run of dates available on the band's website.