Last Tuesday, Smith & Burrows released “All The Best Moves” as the lead single from their upcoming 2nd album. Following Funny Looking Angels in 2011, it’s been a long time coming! Now, we have some more exciting information, including the album’s title and the names of two more songs. Tom Smith (best known as the frontman for Editors) and Andy Burrows did an interview last Thursday with Sagid Carter at 3voor12 Radio in the Netherlands.
First, Tom and Andy talk about how long they’ve been planning this album (hint: a long time!). Andy confirms that “All The Best Moves” and several other songs were written, two, three, or four years ago. Indeed, the duo first performed “All The Best Moves” back in November 2018. However, some of the other songs are newer, composed shortly before entering the studio last summer.
A “Breezy” Sound
They then talk about the sound of the new album. Andy shares his thoughts first, saying it sounds more like his own solo music than anything by Tom’s band, Editors:
It doesn’t sound anything like Editors, apart from it being Tom singing. I feel like with me, I don’t know, I’m not sure it’s, like, a massive departure in style of music. But obviously, it’s incredible working with Tom. It’s easily my favorite creative process that I’ve ever been part of.
At this point Tom jumps in, quipping: “I think what it’s made me realize is that it’s the other four members of Editors that bring all the darkness.” [Laughs]
But Andy disagrees: “You’re pretty dark! You can be dark!”
Tom continues with his defense, while also picking a good keyword for the album:
They’re the gloomy ones! It’s not me! I’m the one who has to answer the bloody questions. You should hear the demos for Editors; it’s like fiddly dee, fiddly doo. And then when I finish in the studio with them, it’s like “Frankenstein” this…[laughs]. Even with Editors, over the years, we’ve explored different areas of our musical tastes, do you know what I mean? I know there’s a darkness and a drama with Editors, and that’s not here with this Smith & Burrows thing, but… This Smith & Burrows thing, to me, is kind of a bit more of a love of kind of classic songwriting and, I don’t know, not being afraid to be melodic, and kind of… breezy? Is “breezy” a good word, Andy?
Andy agrees… but also insists that Tom is indeed a dark guy:
I tell you what: “Breezy” is a good word. But I think having Tom’s darkness: If we didn’t have that, this record would be so breezy, everybody would be on the floor.
At this point, Tom turns his attention the new single:
It’s definitely nice right now to try to spread a little bit of joy. This song (“All The Best Moves”) sounds quite nice now to put out, just to put something that’s quite upbeat and happy and joyful out there.
Now for the information you’ve been waiting for. The album title is…drumroll, please…. Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough. It may sound kind of silly, but this is really the name. They explain its guitar-related origins in the interview. Tom explains:
In terms of getting a producer on, like Andy said, we did need somebody to help us see the project as a whole and have a bit of distance from it, and not make this album feel like a bunch of scraps that have been taking so long. But yeah, Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough, you know, there’s a heavy sense of irony… Or maybe we are just full of ourselves, I don’t know.
I think it’s fairly tongue-in-cheek. We both decided that it was quite interesting. It’s quite a lovely title as well. It’s not supposed to be taken too seriously.
Tom continues, this time giving context for the title choice:
We had such an amazing time in Nashville. We had a few amazing nights out, and we were looked after so well and made some good friends. One night we were in a little town outside of Nashville itself; we were drinking outrageous whiskey ’til the early hours, and the guy that we were with, this guy had the most ridiculous collection of antique acoustic guitars. All the old Gibsons, and these are years and years old, from the ’30s or ’40s. They’re really old Gibsons, and on the headstocks, they say “Only a Gibson is good enough.” And so, I don’t know, Only Smith & Burrows is kind of a testament to our late night out in the country music capital of the world.
Andy then jumps in again, describing the “jubilant” sound of the songs. He also reveals two new song titles:
There were a couple of moments making this record, where the kind of lightness and the joy of some of the beats that Jacquire [their producer for this album] created, and some of the vibes that he created, really reminded me of some of those more jubilant Harry Nilsson songs – “The Lime And The Coconut,” that sort of cursive thing that he used to do with his voice. There was a real sort of slight tongue-in-cheek-ness to some of his more poppier songs, and I feel like.. There’s a track on our album called “Buccaneer Rum Jum,” and there’s a track called “Bottletops,” and there’s these little kooky melodies, and I just feel like I was tuning into his vibe as we were recording this.
Well, this new Smith & Burrows album sounds like a lot of fun! “All The Best Moves” is a joy to listen to, and once the full album is out – hopefully later this year? – it’ll surely brighten up these gloomy times.
Listen to full interview below; it begins at 1:21:50:
New Smith & Burrows Album
Between August and September last year, Tom Smith and Andy Burrows recorded their new album. They spent one month in Nashville, Tennessee – with some recording also happening in Alabama – working with producer Jacquire King. (Jacquire previously produced Tom Smith’s band Editors’ fourth album, The Weight Of Your Love, released in 2013.)
Unlike Funny Looking Angels, the duo’s new album will not be a holiday record. Beyond “All The Best Moves,” the only other song we know of is the one for which Tom teased some lyrics. We don’t know the song’s title, but the partial lyrics go something like this:
Can’t stand the was(…)
Goes dither, dither, dither
Fee fi fo the fun
Gun I got a hun(…)
At just won’t d(…)
The long-awaited second Smith & Burrows record is due out later this year. Catch up on all we know about it here. While we wait, go back and give a listen to Funny Looking Angels. In addition to six covers, the album includes four original songs: “When The Thames Froze,” “As The Snowflakes Fall,” “Rosslyn,” and “This Ain’t New Jersey.”
The Latest from Tom Smith and Editors
Editors shared their first greatest hits album, Black Gold: Best Of Editors, last fall. Along with 13 beloved songs, it also features three new singles: “Frankenstein,” “Black Gold,” and “Upside Down.” You can stream or purchase it from all the major music providers here. Be sure to check out the deluxe edition, which features a bonus disc of 8 new acoustic recordings of beloved album tracks. Additionally, every order of Black Gold: Best Of Editors on vinyl or CD from Editors’ official site comes with a bonus 8-track The Snowfield Demos CD. The Snowfield Demos is an extremely rare recording from 2003, before Editors were even called Editors. (Indeed, they went by Snowfield when they made that EP.)
In March, frontman Tom Smith shared a picture of him with Blanck Mass, cheekily writing just “scheming.” We’re not sure what they’ve got up their sleeves… but we’re ready for it.
More recently, between April and June, Editors digitally shared all four volumes of You Are Fading, the rarities compilations first included in their 2011 Unedited box set. The compilations include bonus tracks, b-sides, and other rarities from Editors’ first three album eras.
The Latest from Andy Burrows
Early last year, Andy released Reasons To Stay Alive, a collaboration album with author Matt Haig. Andy composed the music, while Matt wrote the lyrics. The album’s title track got its name from Matt Haig’s 2015 memoir of the same name, which deals with depression and anxiety. In addition to “Reasons To Stay Alive,” the album also launched the singles “Handle With Care,” “Barcelona,” and “A Different Game.”
Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough
Enjoy the new single, and get ready to hear Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough soon! Catch up on all we know about it here, and stay tuned for announcements of its release date, tracklist, and more. Keep checking back here for all the latest Smith & Burrows news.