Freestyle: Smith readies ‘American Boy’ release

May. 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

PHOTO BY BRUCE ASATO / basato@staradvertiser.comErin Smith and band are planning a few surprises for the 'American Boy' CD release party on June 11 at The Republik.


Erin Smith and band are planning a few surprises for the “American Boy” CD release party on June 11 at The Republik.


If you’re into rock ‘n’ roll and live in Honolulu and haven’t yet heard about Erin Smith, chances are that won’t last long. The woman is a dynamo — juggling identities as a musical artist, music teacher, Honolulu Pulse blogger, TGIF contributor and fashionista … have I left anything out?

American Boy


With Crimson Apple, Human Lion and Random Weirdos

» Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
» When: 7 p.m. June 11
» Cost: $20 ($15 pre-sale tickets available)
» Info:,

I was invited to Smith’s rehearsal space this week to get an early earful of her band’s live sound, as this Honolulu hui prepares to celebrate the release of Smith’s new album, “American Boy,” on June 11. And after hearing the band in play, I’m here to tell you this show is going to be good!

Smith has described the album’s sound as “Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets Adele meets Lana Del Rey,” and that’s all good, but as she’s worked up the songs with her talented fellow band members, they sound most of all like the Erin Smith Band, headed up by the brassy, flirty, big-voiced Smith herself. The music is an attractive and uplifting blend of rock and pop, with indie attitude and a touch of reggae, blues and hip-hop.

Live, the band is in sync. These players — Cassie Fillhart (keyboard), Josh Guerra (drums), Gunso Kawai (bass) and Matt McPherson (guitar) — obviously like and respect each other, and their happiness translates. I think Honolulu audiences are going to like this.

“We like the music,” said McPherson. “We have a really good singer, and that helps.”

“We have good chemistry,” added Guerra.

The band has “personality,” Smith said — and you shouldn’t underestimate just how important that is.

Check out video from the May 21 rehearsal below to get a taste.
Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at or follow her on Twitter.


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