Monday, 16 December 2019

Kendra Smith - In Your Head: An anthology 1982-1995

Kendra Smith, born March 14 1960, is an American musician who was a founding member of The Dream Syndicate, a member of Opal, and later recorded as a solo artist. She recorded just the one album with The Dream Syndicate, on their debut album "The Days of Wine and Roses" in 1982. The only track she sang lead vocals on is included here. After leaving the band she formed the "supergroup" Rainy Day with David Roback, from Rain Parade, also featuring Vicki Peterson and Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles. The one album they recorded in 1984 was a collection of cover songs, two of which Smith sang lead vocals on. Those are also included on this anthology.

Smith and Roback went on to form Opal, who released the magnificent album "Happy Nightmare Baby" in 1987. This was their sole studio album, but a collection of early recordings, aptly titled "Early Recordings" was released in 1989. A year later a bootleg album "Early Recordings Volume 2" appeared, this included many rare tracks but sadly the quality of most of these tracks is rather poor. The band did continue after Smith's departure, her replacement being Hope Sandoval, changing their name to the much more successful Mazzy Star.

Smith went solo after this, releasing the mini-album "The Guild of Temporal Adventurers" in 1992 and her excellent final(?) solo album "Five Ways of Disappearing" in 1995. After this album things got a bit murky, apparently retiring to the woods of northern California for 20+ years. When The Dream Syndicate reunited in 2017 for the album "How Did I Find Myself Here?" it was quite the surprise when Smith appeared on it, albeit on the one track "Kendra's Dream", singing lead vocals. A year later she contributed the song "Moon Boat" to the soundtrack for the film Leave No Trace.

I debated whether to include the 2 later tracks, which are both excellent, deciding eventually to only include tracks from her recordings between 1982-1995, plus one "bonus" track from a 1995 Joy Division tribute album. It's a shame she disappeared for so long, but with her sudden reappearance in the past couple of years maybe we'll see her 2nd solo album appear sometime in the near future. We can only hope! As ever, origin of each track is included in the download file.

  1. Opal - Fell From the Sun (4:32)
  2. Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby (2:53)
  3. Rainy Day - Flying on the Ground Is Wrong (3:16)
  4. Kendra Smith - Temporarily Lucy (4:40)
  5. Opal - Empty Bottles (1:58)
  6. Kendra Smith - Wheel of the Law (4:04)
  7. Opal - Sailing Boats (5:58)
  8. The Dream Syndicate - Too Little, Too Late (3:23)
  9. Kendra Smith - Heart and Soul (6:06)
10. Opal - Supernova (4:17)
11. Kendra Smith - Iridescence 31 (3:37)
12. Kendra Smith - Drunken Boat (3:45)
13. Opal - All Souls (2:17)
14. Kendra Smith - In Your Head (4:23)
15. Opal - My Only Friend (3:56)
16. Rainy Day - Holocaust (3:51)
17. Kendra Smith - Stars Are in Your Eyes (3:50)
18. Opal - Magick Power (6:16)
19. Kendra Smith - Valley of the Morning Sun (6:23)