Fate will remain a huge influence in the formation of beautiful music. Some people are just meant to find one another, both in love and in music. This destiny has created some of the best musical pairings the word has heard. Many times these meetings do not begin with the purpose of even writing music together but over time fate has its way and the musical partnership is formed. Our faith in this is renewed by our recent discovery of Oakes and Smith.
Both Robert Oakes and Katherine Smith were raised in very music friendly families. From Katherine performing with her parents’ Connecticut-based choral group as a teenager to Robert singing and playing bass guitar in his blues-and-jazz-singing father’s band while still only a child, the seeds were sown early in life. After building on their musical experiences the two met in 2007 after having both relocated to the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts. What started as Katherine just helping Robert with the album artwork and music video concept for his solo album turned into a full-fledged partnership after trying out the duo idea at a singing/performing workshop in New York City. Their sound had caught the attention of some important ears and the progressive folk of Oakes and Smith was officially born.
Next Tuesday (November 19, 2013) will be releasing their debut full-length album First Flight. The 12 track record features their ethereal and warming sound in a fully produced version much different from the stripped down live feel of their previous EPs. The studio time and professional mixing and mastering was made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign that gave Oakes and Smith the motivation to put out a full album of songs. The opener ‘Once’ begins with just a gently strummed guitar and Katherine’s powerful voice before Robert comes in with vocals and piano to create a full soundscape to wash over the listener. The passionate pursuit of their success is evident on tracks such as elegant ‘Hold On To Your Dream’ and the title track ‘First Flight’ which tells the story of leaving your comfort zone to follow the path to your dreams. Another strong tack is the mellow ‘Oceans Apart’ which features Katherine’s beautiful voice over a soft but somewhat different instrumental folk feel. The atmospheric ‘Before Dawn’ is one that grabbed my attention with its ethereal multi instrumental sound joined with the closeness of the lyrics. This contrast makes for a very pretty song. Overall there are many feelings expressed through this album making it a perfect record to listen to as you sit quietly and reflect. Submerse yourself in the aura of Oakes and Smith at: http://www.oakesandsmith.net/