Posts Tagged ‘Kidsmoke’


With their songs appearing on Black Mirror and Made In Chelsea before their debut album was even released, Kidsmoke are proving that there’s plenty of life in guitar music yet. Echoing the sounds and mood of both The War On Drugs and The Cure in equal measure, the North Wales five-piece have stumbled upon a brand of glistening guitar-pop and heartlands rock that is packed to the rafters with shimmering arpeggiated guitar melodies and lustrous, beautifully crafted rhythms and vocal hooks. By way of a bright blue beginner’s guitar Sophie Ballamy tells us how it all began, “When I was about 13 a few of my friends at school were learning guitar and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever.

My Dad is pretty handy on guitar, but I’d somehow never known about that before, so when I mentioned I’d like to learn he dug out an old electric guitar from somewhere that my uncle had built. That was it, I was hooked. I’m not sure what that guitar was or where it is now – all I know is that it was bright blue, and I immediately wanted to be Jimi Hendrix.” I tend to play quite intricate, melodic guitar parts for Kidsmoke so I think that’s where that comes from. For me, it’s most important to put down what’s right for the song, so whatever I end up playing it’s always carefully considered.

There were a lot of different influences really, but I think you can hear how much we love 80s bands like The Cure, Prefab Sprout and The Smiths – there’s a balance of light and dark that runs through a lot of our work and you can definitely hear that in those bands.

Kidsmoke are proud to present “The Bluest You”, from their album ”A Vision In The Dark” (released via Libertino Records, 2020)

KIDSMOKE – ” Passenger “

Posted: March 9, 2019 in MUSIC
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Kidsmoke is performing at SXSW 2019.

The first sound to jump out from Kidsmoke’s “Passenger” is that clear, fluid guitar line — it could have been transplanted directly from a Cure album 30 years ago, and damned if it isn’t irresistible. From there, the Welsh pop-rock band cycles through an array of sweet and sunny hooks, each more glimmery than the one before. Imagine Real Estate with a bit more pep and a bit less nostalgic melancholy, and there you have it: a summery, shined-to-a-sheen jewel that’d elicit smiles in any era.


Kidsmoke’s songs to-date are like exquisite, detail-rich pastoral-pop miniatures” – The Sunday Times

Kidsmoke are Lance (Vocals/Guitar), James (Bass/Vocals), Sophie (Guitar/Vocals) and Ash (Drums). Their shimmering brand of dreamy indie-pop has seen them make waves in their native North Wales.

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We hear far too little of Welsh indie-pop quartet Kidsmoke, though everything they do do is done with with care, attention and impeccable flair.

After last year’s ‘See The World’  they now return with another track taken from their ‘Save Your Sorrow’ EP, which came out in June.

Recorded at Orange Sound Recording Studio, Penmaenmawr with Russ Hayes (Catfish and the Bottlemen), ‘Seabirds’ is Kidsmoke’s most ambitious song to date – and not just in its 4 minutes and 25 seconds length. Lush, flowing melodies waft through layers of reverb and West Coast vibes, through which lyrics like “You cloud the sunset/It drags my heart down with it/Now I don’t feel at all/You are the tumbling rocks sent/To chase away this time spent” revolve.

“I think I was listening to a lot of War on Drugs’ ‘Lost In The Dream’ at the time,” says songwriter/bassist James Stickels. “Not sure that carries into the final version. I wanted a chorus that opened up like Radiohead’s 1996 version of ‘Lift’.”