Urthboy is at his peak, weaving tales of the city with his past and present; celebrating life with a collection of songs balanced by the tension of light and darkness. From the vibrancy of ‘Knee Length Socks’ to the emotional weight of ‘Hey Dianne’, Smokey’s Haunt gets under your skin; it should be experienced whole, with songs segued by the shadows and atmosphere they were created in. This is more than a rap record.
Hermitude and Countbounce co-produced the entire album together—the first time they’ve joined forces. The chemistry was electric; studio sessions were intense, sparked by limited time together and the buzz of worldwide attention (Hermitude had just signed a global deal for ‘Speak of the Devil’) humming in the background. It felt like the Aussie rap version of The Avengers was taking place in Countbounce’s Melbourne studio.
Guests on the record include Alex Burnett, soaring in ‘The Big Sleep’, local hip hop king Delta and some of the illest young MCs Solo (Horrorshow) and new Elefant Traks signing Jimblah. Jane Tyrrell not only appears but also handled all the artwork. The bold first single, ‘Naïve Bravado’ featuring Daniel Merriweather, was iTunes Single Of The Week— raking in over 30,000 downloads.
The playful second single ‘Knee Length Socks’ has gone further, becoming the most played song on Triple J and resonating across the board with a huge response at live shows.
Urthboy has kept a frenetic pace since his last release. Putting out 2011’s Future Shade album from The Herd; and bringing the house down with his rendition of ‘Stagger Lee’ at Straight To You, triple j’s Nick Cave Tribute concerts. He recently signed a global publishing deal with legendary Alberts Music— the first hip hop artist to join their ranks. Smokey’s Haunt is the follow-up album to Spitshine and The Signal, both finalists in the Australian Music Prize. Spitshine won the Australian Independent Award (AIR) for Best Urban Album; The Signal was nominated for a J Award.