Smileswithteeth ~ Walk Forever

coverIt’s been two years since we last heard from Montreal’s Gabriel Gutierrez (Smileswithteeth), who impressed us with his sophomore EP Everyday Always.  His follow-up is only half the length, but it’s just as appealing.  The title refers to a semester Gutierrez spent in Paris, which involved a lot of walking, connected to the good feeling of returning home, “feeling energized and optimistic, like I could roam for ages and never get tired.”  While playing this music on an iPod, such a feeling is easy to imagine.  The tempos are steady and the optimism is palpable.  At the end, one wants to play it again.

As on the prior EP, one track features a guest vocalist.  This time around, it’s Lillian King, who sings on the opening “Wednesday”.  Her voice becomes its own backup as it echoes and swirls around her performance, one of many samples stirred in a sonic vat.  At 2:28, the track is too short, but we can hope for a remix or extended version.  The same is true of “Sup”, which is one minute shorter; we’d love to hear more!  On this piece, sighs and wooden blocks abound, creating the feeling of a magical toybox.  The center track, “Mustard”, is 3:35, a perfect single length, and introduces a series of different influences, from scratched hip-hop to a music box sample to warped strings that imitate a theremin.  The track stumbles to a drunken end, happily inebriated.  Continuing this theme, “Person Sound” includes drums from a party in the next room, or in the window of an upper apartment.  The handclaps are much closer; it’s nighttime, and everyone’s having fun.  “Now It’s Thunders” throws everything into the kitchen sink, including cowbell (yes, Christopher!).  It’s an exuberant blast that sends the listener into the city streets, beaming.  Might one walk forever to this music?  Upon hearing this final track, one might decide instead to break into a jog.  (Richard Allen)


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