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CREDIBILITY GAP?

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

SHANNON SMITH
I’M GONNA CHANGE

The latest single from Shannon Smith, ‘I’m Gonna Change’, starts out with beats and a heartbroken guitar that are as arid as the Gibson Desert. Following on from his debut single, ‘Dance The Night Away’, Smith’s sophomore release is one helluva a left turn. Having given us the feelgood hit of summer ’23, ‘I’m Gonna Change’, is the sound of a man fearing the loss of love and abasing himself with promises of reform in an attempt to stave off the inevitable.

‘I’m Gonna Change’ is a surefooted shift in focus for Shannon Smith, one that really powers home in the final bars. I’m just not sure if I believe him. I guess future releases may tell the story.

I am tryin’ / I am dyin’ / In myself / When I’ve done wrong, sings Smith to himself and, ultimately, to his partner. This is raw stuff that will catch a lot of people off guard, but even though Smith has turned from party pleaser to hound dog of love, ‘I’m Gonna Change’ still works very nicely, thank you.

This song is steeped in a tradition of folk rock that only really exists in Western Australia but, when it breaks through, has the capacity to sit alongside the world’s best. Think Cruel Guards era The Panics, a touch of The Waifs when they were trying to make it in London, and you’ll get a bit of an aural picture, but better just to have a listen for yourself.

And, there’s something really neat Smith has done with his vocals on the line I’m gonna change, picking up the inflection of his partner in life and music, Fremantle/Walyalup Americana artist, Helen Townsend. Whether deliberate or not, the connection Smith’s delivery of that line makes between him and the woman he’s so desperately trying to win back is uncanny.

‘I’m Gonna Change’ is a surefooted shift in focus for Shannon Smith, one that really powers home in the final bars. I’m just not sure if I believe him. I guess future releases may tell the story.

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