Hawaiian singer-songwriter Eli Smart calls his style of music “aloha soul,” and his new single, “B-Side,” (available now on Polydor) brings both the island side to the fore and the soul side of this label. The 22-year-old from Kuai brings a warm and welcoming vibe to the track, tapping into a feel that feels right for the start of summer.
After a series of singles that began in 2018 when Smart was still a teenager, it was only last year that the young troubadour released his first EP, the four-track Town of Boonie. But in the meantime and now, Smart has already started to get a lot of attention, gaining high-ranking fans (est Elton John quite a lofty name?) and made its way to radio with the tune “Cruella DeVille.”
“B-Side” carries all the hallmarks that are already part of the Smart sound: an earworm melody, a smooth, pop-soul feel, captivating falsetto vocals, and a kind of quiet mastery of his craft. There’s also something undeniably old-school and organic about the way Smart puts together a track.
Commenting on the creation of his new single, Smart explained how nature itself had a hand in the proceedings. “Just when my mate Luca and I started recording the vocals for this song, a massive rainstorm hit our side of the island,” he explained in a press release. “We were recording everything in my room which is far from sound proof so all the rain and the roosters were jumping on the track. We decided not to fight and leave it all because it really put us in the mood. At the start of the song you can hear a load of rain absolutely pouring outside, I think we even kept it on a subtle level throughout.
If you want to soak up the rainy island vibe, you can do so by listening to “B-Side.”
Stream or buy “B-Side”.