Best of Seattle: Producer

What qualifies Charlie Smith for this designation is the fact that he has produced four of the best albums to come out of Seattle in the past year—the debut full-length by Kairos; what could be a breakout for rapper/singer Katie Kate; a transfixing release from Cock & Swan; and the first album from Pillar Point, the infectious new project from Scott Reithermann (Throw Me the Statue). But it is the shared nature of those releases—all adventurous, sometimes difficult, albums that defy pop convention without sacrificing likability—that seal it for the emergent producer. A former jazz-band leader (you might have seen him at Tula’s a decade or so back), Smith entered the world of indie rock because he could write arrangements for horns—which were in demand in the mid-’00s. He still produces the odd jazz album, but Smith has found his true calling with young indie artists in search of an identity. In the case of Lena Simon’s striking Kairos debut, that meant taking the multi-instrumentalist/singer’s old demos, stripping them down to just a vocal line and a single instrument, and then rebuilding them—not into commercial pop, but into something distinct and undeniable. therealcharliesmith.com

 
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