Dan’s DJ Pick this week is “Nighttime Animal” by ZG Smith! This track recently dropped off his indie-rock EP Nighttime Animal in February of this year.
Originally from Los Angeles, Smith became known for being the frontman of Smooth Hound Smith upon moving to Nashville in the early 2010s. The Americana-rock duo headlined tours across the U.S. and Europe, opening for artists like the Dixie Chicks and Collective Soul. When the industry came to a halt during the 2020 pandemic, the band decided to pursue solo careers. Zach (“ZG”) Smith soon began utilizing his free time during COVID-19 to revamp his sound by releasing his own music. Influenced by a wide range of genres including North African desert blues, 90’s hip-hop, and outsider folk music, Smith was inspired to create his debut EP, Nighttime Animal.
“Nighttime Animal” is a smooth-sounding, ethereal soft-rock track exploring the narrative of society’s outcasts. The lyrics focus on the feeling of not being able to fit in anywhere, while the production makes the listener feel as if they truly are walking through the strange blackness of the middle of the night. Smith explains, “Very quickly it became clear to me that ‘nighttime animal’ was a metaphor for people who live differently than what the societal norms dictate, with the overall message being, regardless of lifestyle, profession, sexual preference, or anything else, if you’re not causing harm to another, you should be able to be autonomous in the choices you make for yourself and your body.” Sonically, the track is just as powerful as it is lyrically; with airy-sounding synths and calming acoustic guitar riffs. Smith’s vocals have a distinctive grittiness that only adds to the tune’s lonely ambiance.
Fans can catch ZG Smith Live this summer on his Nighttime Animal tour. You can stay updated on new releases and upcoming tour dates here. Tune in all day to hear “Nighttime Animal” by Smooth Hound Smith! Check out the official music video on YouTube below:
Tune in to 100.1 FM or lightning100.com all week to hear “Nighttime Animal” by ZG Smith, Dan’s DJ Pick of the Week. Share your thoughts on the track by tagging #L100DJPicks on Twitter.