C. Sterling is a name many may be unfamiliar with, but Craig Smith, the artist behind the new indie folk act, is no stranger to the scene.
Smith has been making music since the mid-2000s in collaboration with other artists – he was a founding member of alt-rock outfit The Silent Authors as well as one half of folk duo Ohmbe. In 2010 Smith embarked on a solo project under the moniker C. Sterling, and the result is No Matter, an EP combining synthesized computer sounds and catchy yet contemplative acoustic folk-pop.
Featuring the co-writing efforts of his Silent Authors’ bandmate Brad Woods, as well as Iain Rose on the drums, Smith’s solo release is a contemplative, at times almost moody, reflection on love. The songs, sung in Smith’s melodic timbre reminiscent of Coldplay’s Chris Martin or Bon Iver, are composed of introspective lyrics and looping — layered melodies that stick in one’s mind.
In terms of the sound, this EP features an atmospheric sonic depth similar to the sound of Toronto’s indie folk group Ohbijou. In fact, Casey Mecija, lead vocalist of Ohbijou lends her ethereal, bell-clear voice to the title track, “No Matter.” This song is a lullaby-like ballad with a repeating melody and an echoing sentiment of steadfast devotion, “no matter where we go, my love, no matter where we go.”
Smith, as part of The Silent Authors, garnered acclaim from such notable artists as Dan Mangan, DRMHLLR, and Ohbijou following the 2007 release of Under City Lights, and again with folk duo Ohmbe, after their self-titled release. So with his re-emergence as C. Sterling, he looks to be in the right company to go far, especially given the involvement of renowned Toronto producer Leon Taheny (Final Fantasy, Sebastien Grainger).
With this EP, Smith’s talent as a solo artist is apparent, both lyrically and vocally. However, No Matter appears to be just a foretaste of the capabilities of C. Sterling.
01. All the Hell You Breathe
02. No Matter
03. Tiger Proud