It is officially EP release day for SmithField with their brand new EP, New Town, finally available today. After a year of waiting, they finally get to release this set of songs into the world. The country music genre has not had a new male-female country duo break out in a decade, and SmithField have plans to break the glass ceiling on that front.
SmithField’s band name combines each of their last names — Trey Smith and Jenn Fielder — which might sound like a no-brainer, but Trey said it took them some time to land on it: “Believe it or not, it actually took us like three months to settle on that.”
Any time we see a new duo or group, our first questions are, “Are they married? Are they siblings? How do they know each other?” In SmithField’s case, they are lifelong friends who grew up together in Waxahachie, Texas. Trey Fielder describes their friendship as “a wonderful musical marriage.”
Their families go way back, which has made them much more comfortable and open with each other: “Our families go back three generations. Our grandparents went to high school together. Our parents went to high school together. We did family New Year’s Eve parties growing up, and Fourth of July, and we met when we were little kids. We were the entertainment for the family. We got up on the fireplace and sang like we were the biggest stars in the world. Not together; we sang separately our whole lives but formed SmithField when we were in college….”
We’ve all been missing the male-female duo in country music, and SmithField are poised to break out and be the first girl-guy duo to debut in a decade. The radio-waves were once dominated by male-female duos like Thompson Square and Sugarland, and groups with male-female harmonies from the likes of The Band Perry, Lady A, and Little Big Town, but that’s a little lacking nowadays.
“We’re so passionate about filling that void and that slot that’s been missing for so long. It’s been a part of country music for fifty years. It’s a needed and a wanted sound, so I hope we can break that glass ceiling and open up the doors again.” — Jenn Fielder
Their song “Something Sexy” was selected for the iHeart Women of Country playlist, meaning that it would get much more exposure and get played on iHeartRadio stations all across the country. Trey Field admits that “it was pretty awesome to hear our song on the radio, not gonna lie.”
“Something Sexy” cleverly name drops some of the sexiest songs in country music, including references to “Let’s Make Love” by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, “Like a Wrecking Ball” by Eric Church, “Raining on Sunday” by Keith Urban, “Gettin’ You Home” by Chris Young, “I Melt” by Rascal Flatts, “I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery, “Burnin’ It Down” by Jason Aldean, “Come a Little Closer” by Dierks Bentley, “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley, and “Amazed” by Lonestar.
“Being from a small town, going back to our roots, our bond and our chemistry is so special. You can’t manufacture that. You can’t practice and get there. It’s just something that I think is God-give but also a testament to just us growing up together and coming from the same small town.”
Trey Smith says that growing up in the ‘90s, he idolized Garth Brooks before he “went through an ‘80s hair band phase.” One of his favorite bands is the Goo-Goo Dolls, and “Iris” is one of his favorite songs.
Smith credits Keith Urban as “the guy that really got me back in country music because he brought this kind of rock flavor to what he did, and I associated very close with it because, at the time, I was in a rock band. So I kind of realized what I do can exist in country music, too, and it’s part of what I love.”
Jennifer Fielder said that she “grew up singing country music since [she] was nine years old.” She sang on the same show that LeAnn Rimes played as a young girl, so she was one of her “greatest heroes in country music.” She also draws a lot of inspiration from Faith Hill and Shania Twain “from their fashion, from how they carry themselves, and conduct their music and their business.”
I had to ask them what some songs were that they’re loving right now because it helps me learn about them as artists and people.
Trey Smith names “Last Train Home” by John Mayer featuring Maren Morris: “I just love John Mayer, so pretty much anything of his, I’m going to be a fan of. I mean, Maren’s awesome too. Just such a cool collaboration.”
Jenn Fielder had an answer to my question that was “kind of funky,” as she put it: “Instead of filling my mind with more newer music, I listen to happy jazz. Like in my car, while I’m cooking, if I go for a walk- That’s just the season I’m in right now. That’ll change, and I’ll get back into what’s going on in the real music world.” Trey confirmed Jenn’s newfound love for jazz saying, “Every time I get in her car, it’s jazz music.”
And, in case you missed it, 2020 didn’t quite go as planned, and that also included SmithField’s plans for last year. They were actually in the middle of recording this EP when the shutdown first began. Trey Smith explained, “We were in the studio in Nashville recording this music the week that everything started to shut down with the pandemic. Already in our sessions, some of the guys were starting to wear masks, and at that point, everything hadn’t come out… Literally, a few days after that, they shut down studios, and everything went into shutdown mode.”
SmithField, who just recently celebrated their 10-year Nash-iversary (their tenth year living in Nashville) describe this “next chapter” of music, and as a duo, as “SmithField 2.0” because they are evolving into what they were “always meant to be.”
Buy and stream their New Town EP here: ffm.to/new-town
Tomorrow night — Thursday, June 17 — SmithField will be performing the SmithField New Town EP Release Show live at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. You can buy tickets to attend the show, which will be their first full-capacity concert since before the pandemic, here: https://www.ticketweb.com/event/smithfield-3rd-and-lindsley-tickets/11018785?irgwc=1&clickid=TvbQEFQ5oxyLUwnwUx0Mo3YpUkBw-GTduxXhVY0&camefrom=CFC_BUYAT_219208&impradid=219208&REFERRAL_ID=tmfeedbuyat219208&wt.mc_id=aff_BUYAT_219208&utm_source=219208-Bandsintown&impradname=Bandsintown&utm_medium=affiliate