Smoking With Strangers is the collaborative project between producers, FullyMaxxed, Jay Sustain, and vocalist Taylor Stokes. From their loft studio in Deep Ellum, an entertainment neighborhood of Dallas, they write, record, and perform original material and covers, that encompass their broad-ranging style. The Dallas-based trio have been steadily building an arsenal of electronic gems that they say finally feel ready to unleash on the masses.
With decades of musical background collectively between them, it’s easy to see how their experience plays out in the nuances of their debut single, “The Same,” which CE has the privilege of premiering. Part synth-wave, part indie dance, with the full range bpm of deep house, the single has a retro-80s throwback vibe with all the energy of a desert house track one might hear during a sunrise set out on the playa. The four-minute cut sounds as if it could soundtrack Donnie Darko, with the sullen main character somehow stumbling onto a secret Carl Cox set at Burning Man‘s Robot Heart camp.
Jay Sustain told CE of the debut single: “I’ll never forget when he [Max] brought it to the band as an idea for us. It was like an immediate unanimous yesssss! I loved the 80’s vibe and the melody so much, that we were all on board from the get-go. Max got me the stems and the Jay Sustain remix started almost over night. I had a few gigs scheduled, and those crowds got to hear the earliest versions of my remix. In performance prep, we found that Max’ vocal was so strong and didn’t need any help, placing Taylor & I in the backing vocals part.”
Smoking With Strangers’ “The Same” is independently-released and is now available on all digital platforms. Stay tuned for more Smoking With Strangers’ releases slated for 2020.
Featured photo: Taylor Stokes.