Portland-based, award-winning talents Aaron Nigel Smith and Andy Furgeson have teamed up for a unique, family friendly new project. Under the moniker of Smith & Yarn, the pair are set to release their first collaborative album on April 29, which includes an array of special guests. Their anthemic, heartfelt track “Never Be Alone,” which The Boot is excited to exclusively premiere today, features stunning guest vocals from Rissi Palmer.
When Palmer admits that “sometimes the world gets me feeling scared and sad, and I think my shadow is the only friend I have,” her sweet, emotive vocals reinterate the worries and fears we’ve all battled in our own ways. Sometimes knowing that you aren’t the only one who’s faced tough times brings enough comfort to lift the heavy weight you’re carrying. When Smith, Furgeson and Palmer come together for the warm, uplifting chorus, they send out a much-needed message of love and unity.
“Whatever place you make your home / Whatever race you may run / You will never be alone / Whatever it takes, wherever you go / Whatever you face, I hope you know / You will never be alone”
Take a first listen to “Never Be Alone” below:
“Never Be Alone” is a cut from Smith & Yarn’s debut self-titled album, which will be released this Friday (April 29) via Tuff Gong International, a label founded by the late music legend Bob Marley. The project melds elements of country, reggae, rock and folk, generating a sound that pushes both artists’ individual creative boundaries. Smith, a Grammy-nominated producer, and Furgeson, an award-winning musician and puppeteer, have been friends and creative collaborators for years, but it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic led them to share a livestreaming studio that the idea for an album began to blossom.
“This collaboration was a long time coming and a dream come true,” Furgeson said in a statement. “I’ve been a fan of Aaron’s work for a long time, so it was a privilege to learn from his creative process and musical skills. The project definitely stretched us both to explore new genres, try new approaches to songwriting, work with guest musicians we admire, and find the commonalities between our styles and processes.”
Over the course of a year and a half, the pair drew inspiration from the challenges, uncertainty and atrocities that permeated through American culture. Although the record is often musically uplifting and accessible to young listerners, Smith & Yarn tackle an array of impactful topics in this collection of songs. The powerful ”Make Some Change” was inspired by the protests that followed George Floyd’s murder by a police officer in 2020. Amongst these darker moments, Smith & Yarn push for optimism and togetherness to create a brighter tomorrow. The folk-focused “Brothers & Sisters” clearly relays that message, proclaiming “We all need another heart to beat in time with / Voice to sing in tune / We’re all brothers & sisters / Now I’ll be here for you.”
You can see find the full track list for Smith & Yarn’s upcoming album below. You can learn more about the duo by visiting their official website.
Smith & Yarn Track List:
1. “Brothers & Sisters”
2. “Mix It Up”
3. “Never Be Alone” (ft. Rissi Palmer)
4. “Truth” (ft. Kelli Welli, Mo Phillips & SaulPaul & Cathy & Marcy)
5. “The River”
6. “Shine On Me”
7. ”Swing Your Partner” (ft. Karen K)
9. “Make Some Change” (ft. Father Goose)
10. “Don’t Pass”
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