It's going to be interesting to see the reaction to Kezia Gill's latest single "Smokey" as it is probably going to take some of her fans down a road they've not ventured down before. Whether you like it is likely going to be defined by your reaction to the guitar sound that dominates the track - it is loud and scuzzy - Kezia describes it as "filthy" It comes with a thumping drum sound that leaves Kezia little option but to take a Robert Plant approach to her vocals - this is not a song for shrinking violets.
There's equally little point in trying to match it to some observational lyrics about the human condition - this needs something as big and bold as the backing track which is where "Smokey" comes in - the sort of character beloved by movies and tv series - living off grid, keeping himself to himself.
Kezia's lyrics are rich in detail describing "Smokey" as a loner with a rifle and a fishing rod!
"Somewhere in a small town, in a one room tin roof shack
Living life kinda slowed down, 3 miles from the rail road track
Staying close to the river,
Killing time fishing down the old wood lake
Lives a man on mission, to stay away from the rat race
He’s a quiet kind a soul with no family ties
Just a rifle on his arm and a dog by his side"
There is little provided as to quite how "Smokey" reached this position - leaving the listener to have to close a few gaps themselves.
The lyrics of having "no family ties" and only inheriting a hip flask from his Dad seem a little contradictory with
"He’s not afraid a dyin’, He knows too many people on the other side"
suggesting maybe he was a war veteran who returned traumatised from the ravages of war but that is just pure conjecture.
In essence that is the whole song. it is a musical portrait and it's success will depend on how vividly Kezia is able to realise her creation in the listeners mind.