Dean Michael Smith – ‘Lady’
Australia has seen a boom in acoustic acts in recent years taking lead from 1960s folk troubadors. There’s a similar situation occuring in the States as well, though it’s a trend spearheaded by bands like Alexisonfire: heavier acts moving away to more subdued tunes.
Sydney’s Dean Michael Smith fits more comfortably into the latter category. Like Dallas Green’s side project City & Colour, Dean borrows heavily from alternative and heavier styles of music to create his vocal-driven, emotional acoustic songs, rather than becoming an aping Dylan or Donovan artist. Flirting with distortion earlier on, Dean seems to have found his comfort zone with simply an acoustic guitar. It takes a brave soul to get up and strip everything back, leaving nothing to hide behind, but Dean pulls it off confidently. And not just that, his live shows are humble, disarmingly funny and engaging.
PLUS – he does a killer cover of Seal’s ‘Crazy’ live. If for no other reason, check him out just to watch him belt out that tune.