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L.A. Unheard: David Shane Smith's transmutable pop

September 6, 2011 | 12:38 pm

David Shane Smith - lo

The artist: David Shane Smith, an L.A.-based solo experimentalist.

The sound: On the three-track "Shampoo" EP, his follow-up to several unheralded full-lengths, Smith’s music ranges from intricately arranged synth-pop (“Shampoo”) to drum-machine dystopia (the abrasive “Actor”) and gentle folk balladry (“Beach”). The sound is as transmutable as his mood: On “Beach,” he sings of running “to the beach’s arms” in the early morning hours after a triumphant night on the town, while the artist’s lament “Actor” finds him “headed for the privacy of a drink under a lamp… I just hope they can’t tell how sick I am.”

The random: Smith’s influences are difficult to pinpoint, but at least one childhood listen stuck with him. “I remember being really fond of They Might Be Giants,” he said. “I was very much into any kind of rap or punk.”

The details: The "Shampoo" EP is out digitally now; on Tuesday night, Smith will conclude a three-night stand at Echo Park’s Lot 1 Café.

The music: Download “Shampoo” below.


David Shane Smith - "Shampoo"


Photo: L.A. solo artist David Shane Smith. Credit: Kristen Gillespie