BS“You pulled on this heart like you pull on a string; like the moon pulls on the ocean waves.” These lyrics, taken from Brydan Smith‘s song “The Pull,” describe the way his music affects people and offer a sampling of the descriptive and touching lyrics that characterize Smith’s writing.

So many artists try to show off their abilities by using all kinds of chords or writing difficult passages, but there’s something so touching and heartfelt in a good old-fashioned, simplistic love song that can’t be equaled. Smith is a romantic through and through. His gift is finding beauty in simplicity. He doesn’t need a bunch of fancy chords to win you over with his technical prowess. His intensely personal songs are tender portraits that grab you with his heartbreaking and sweet lyrics, smokey voice and emotive delivery.

He comments that a lot of people think he draws the most musical inspiration from Ray LaMontagne, but in fact he is more influenced by Joe Purdy. I can hear both. Vocally he sounds more like LaMontagne, but the style of his writing, including the straightforward chord progressions, is reminiscent of Purdy.

Smith’s soul-baring style is brave and admirable. Audiences respond to his genuineness; he doesn’t hide behind his instrument but unabashedly pours his heart out.

“Connecting with the listener, making them feel something is all I hope for… it’s what I strive for every time I perform,” he says in his online bio. He is successful in this endeavour, and then some.

The title of his EP is Beautiful Tragedies; perfect words to describe the tales of loss and longing set to elegant acoustic music by this naturally talented singer-songwriter.

Smith, a Burlington, Ontario native, is now living in Toronto and performing regular shows. Dates and times can be found on his website.

I was fortunate enough to catch a show last week at Cherry Cola’s, a Music City North event. Though singing fairly softly by nature, Smith quieted the chatty audience and held them from the first song through the last, where he invited friend Chris Blachford from an amazingly talented Toronto group called The Fox and the Moon to sing harmonies with him on a new song. It was a great way to end a set of tender, often lonesome songs; with a friend to share the burden.

Here’s a preview of him performing “Amy Dear,” the song that won him a FACTOR grant, live at The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville’s finest live music establishment.

Three part harmonies? No problem! Nailed it!

The Fox and the Moon stepped in last minute to play a show at the Cameron House earlier this month after the scheduled act had to pull out due to illness. The trio, made up of two acoustic guitars (Chris Blachford and Kim Wexler), a mandolin (Stella Green) and wonderful harmonies mesmerized the audience from their first song and held them captive until the end of their set.

fox and moon 2The music has a beautiful simplicity and yet the harmonies, one of the most delightful aspects of this group, take the music to a different level. The cozy vibe of the Cameron House suits their sound so well and added to the ambiance of the set.

If you like groups like Trent Severn and Chic Gamine, you’ll love The Fox and the Moon. Only after their set did we learn it was only their third show together as a band; this was amazing to me.  You would have thought they’ve been playing together for years, both because of their seeming ease of performance of their original material, but also their stage presence and camaraderie.

Since the band is still very new, they don’t have much published online yet, but if you get a chance to see them live, do it!  They will enchant and entertain you from the first note to the last.