Dustin Smith and his group, The Sunday Silos, are the minds and talent behind some of this city’s best and most intimately soulful sounds. It’s a tradition of talent that is being carried forward over the next few months, as Smith heads to Nashville, Tenn., to record the tracks for his next EP and gears up for its release.
“Heading out of town to record changes the vibe,” Smith said. “Recording in town, it’s like, ‘Eh, we can come back tomorrow and try that again.’ But for this one, I’ve got two days. You need to be able to get in and get it done. It’s more immediate.”
Fans of Smith’s music will notice a change in the new material. For much of the band’s previous efforts, Smith’s own welcoming drawl has been counterpointed by harmonies provided by Paige Harpin. The pair have shared the band’s songwriting duties and forged the kind of easy collaboration only found between two good friends who happen to be really damn talented and extremely confident in the abilities of the other.
But for the new album, Smith finds himself stepping out alone. Harpin’s dance card is full with other projects, so this winter finds Smith writing and performing as the Sunday Silos’ lone vocalist. And while Smith firmly believes that this is the best direction for the band and his music right now, moving forward without his friend is a decision with which he clearly struggles.
“Me and Paige have been best friends for as long as I can remember,” he said. “It’s a tough thing to explain. It’s just hard, when you can’t lock up. I want this to be my career; it’s what I love doing.” He’s quiet for a moment, before reiterating, “It’s hard.”
Smith’s confident that Sunday Silos fans haven’t seen the last of Harpin, and he doesn’t rule out the prospect of her joining the group later in the year for a few shows here in Des Moines. But in the meantime, he’s making the best of the band’s new direction, and he’s excited to show everyone the new sound.
“I don’t know if I want to call it a re-branding or not,” he said. “It feels really good, where it is right now. I feel a lot of freedom. (And) the songs are better than I could have thought.” CV