Eli Smart – Aloha Soul – Track by Track

The emerging artist Eli Smart has finally dropped his hotly-anticipated new EP, Aloha Soul.

1883 previously sat down with the songwriter last year as the Hawaii-native had just released the promising debut EP, Boonie Town (click here to read the interview). Yet Smart has continued to remain on our radar at 1883 because of his gift for distilling the tropical sounds of Hawaii and the soulful grit of the northern UK music scene, resulting in a full-bodied and infectious sound. Fast-forward to the present day and Eli Smart is maintaining his ascent within the music industry. He’s garnered praise from numerous BBC Radio 1 DJs, played numerous shows and now recently released his sophomore extended play, Aloha Soul. Recorded in his childhood bedroom-turned-studio with Mercury Prize winning producer Gianluca Buccellati (Arlo Parks, Lana Del Rey, Biig Piig), Aloha Soul is easily his best musical offering yet.

To celebrate the release of Eli Smart’s latest body of work, the artist has penned a track-by-track article for 1883 where he delved into the meaning behind the five songs on the project.




B Side

It started to rain down hard when we were recording this tune back home in my room. My walls are far from soundproofed so there was no sense in trying to fight the ambient noise. We decided to go with it and record the rain along with everything else on the track. It really set the mood and flow for the tune, similarly this song is about not fighting the feeling or natural flow of life even when it takes you in unexpected directions.



Back home it’s easy to fall into a lethargic dream-like state, when it gets so warm in the day and all you can do is jump in the water to get energy or wait till the sun goes down. I spend a lot of late nights/early mornings cruising around with some of my closest mates soaking up the moonlight and fresh night air. This tune is about that feeling.


Cry At The Comedy

This is a tune about the tragic irony of people getting trapped within their ideology and social media echo chambers.


Baby Benzing

I saved up and bought my first car in highschool. It was a 1981 Mercedes 300, my mate and I put a great sound system into it, driving around the island with the tunes on became and still is one of my favorite things to do. This is a soundtrack to my past self on a nostalgic drive in my old car.


See Through

This is one to have a boogie to. The baritone guitar part and the slightly swung groove led this song in the writing process, just wanted to make a fun tune to move around to and play live. It’s about getting into some funny situations and having a laugh.


Aloha Soul is out now. Follow Eli Smart @smarticuss

Intro by Cameron Poole

Photography by Phoebe Fox


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