“Turn Back the Time” by Smythy is one of those songs that feels applicable no matter what mood you’re in. Feeling listless? Somber? Blissful? Nostalgic? Resentful? The billowy, rotary-drenched guitars somehow just light up the section of your brain in charge of emotion. Even so, it maintains a light-heartedness suitable for mixed company. Play it in the background of a party, or on a late-night drive alone. This song will always feel good.
Production-wise, the key in this track is modulation and reverb. The guitars strum along with a tight flanging effect. The vocals are doubled and cut with a tinge of reverb. The synths are spacy and slightly buried. The drums manage to be punchy and washy all at the same time. The mix is the perfect amount of messy. It feels like you’re in someone’s backyard without really losing any sound quality. It just has the ideal formula for an indie-rock banger.
The music itself is satisfying, engaging, and classic. Smythy’s voice has all the right inflections. It sounds cool, yet relatable–confident, yet vulnerable. The chords aren’t at all complicated, but they don’t need to be. They flow into one another effortlessly, complimenting the melody with every change. The drums employ the ride cymbal frequently, giving the chorus a gentle, dance-y drive. Nothing sticks out, but nothing fades away. The instruments serve the song perfectly.
The lyrics fall into place like clockwork. They’re pretty non-abstract, describing a love interest and a desire to go back to a time when the speaker could hold them. It’s a familiar topic to most, and one that easily pulls at your heartstrings. Smythy cries, “I’ll never let you go,” and the listener can’t help but sing along.
If you’re looking for your next favorite song, you’ve come to the right place. “Turn Back the Time” presses all the right buttons, and may just make you feel something you haven’t felt in a while.
Written by Alyce Lindberg