Grant Smith: “Unfair” – a commanding blend of angst and soul

Grant Smith is a twenty year old, small-town singer, currently serving in the US Army in the 82nd Airborne Division. Smith has a number of music releases under his belt, including the single “Unfair”, recorded in collaboration with Producer Marc Solomon. Right off the cuff I’m surprised that Grant Smith is not already a household name, or commercially much bigger than he is. A quick run through his ever growing catalog, and you get the idea of what soul and blues infected modern pop perfection sounds like. Each track is subtly layered to pop radio perfection and better than the one before it.

By the time you get to “Unfair”, you’ve already hit replay a number of times on the previous tracks. Smith’s songs have both lyrical and thematic depth, and that depth is offset by melodic and harmonic height in the form of his stratospheric vocal agility.

In a class of new millennial singers whose successes depend on being super trendy, Grant Smith’s disinterest in cool actually gives him an edge. So does his craftsmanship. His music bears the hallmarks of someone not thinking too hard about how to capitalize on trends but rather teasing the ear with something new.

“Unfair” is a great example. Between his patented soaring choruses, the verses are slyly gripping: Smith breaks his sentences into ascending and descending mini mantras, delivered at a careful, tentative pace.

Subsequently, he syncs his syllables to faster, twitching guitar strums for greater dynamic impact and mood switching. Smith continuously blends artistry and his proven technical ability, with a range of undeniably catchy verses and a balanced measure of emotional bang.

Grant Smith delivers all this with a commanding blend of angst and soul, spiced with a dash of pop gloss. While the music is relentlessly hook-filled with reliably explosive choruses, the lyrics offer a conflicted view of love – often questioning – and the friction is fascinating.

Without a doubt, Grant Smith has a slick ability to transport you into whatever world he determines, a testament to his songwriting ability. He is an artist who thrives off of passion and raw emotion. “Unfair” establishes Smith’s artistry from the get-go, presenting him as gritty, invested, and ambitious.

Couple Smith’s artistic ambition with that which he sings of, and the first impression is a solid knockout punch. The song caps off a compelling stretch of releases which came before this, finding Smith continuing to pour out his soul with incredible authenticity.

“Unfair” instantly endears itself – and when given the chance to bloom, is a thoroughly immersive ride that shows Smith has plenty of ideas brimming in his head. Ultimately, Grant Smith checks off most of the boxes on this song, and many others.

He has a sensational voice, he has unquestionable passion, and his material is always alluring, while his potential never fails to shine through on each occasion. All of which brings me back to my very first question, at the beginning of this article: “Why is Grant Smith not already a household name, or commercially much bigger than he is?” I have a serious hunch that the music industry has a lot of answering to do for itself!


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