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Interview: Singer/Songwriter/Animator Meaghan Smith Releases 'The Cricket's Orchestra'

Meaghan Smith - Photo by Jennifer Tzar
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When Meaghan Smith decided to quit her career as an animator and pursue the singer/songwriter path, she took a big leap of faith. Thankfully, the leap was well worth it, and in October she released her first full studio album, The Cricket's Orchestra. Though it may sound contradictory, the album is a throwback ahead of its time. By combining underappreciated instruments such as the mellotron with her fresh take on love songs, Smith has crafted her own batch of modern-day standards. And she has even returned to her roots to animate her own music videos.

LAist caught up with Smith last weekend to talk about crazy ex-boyfriends, her just-released Christmas EP and her upcoming three-night gig opening for Joe Purdy at the Hotel Cafe.

You include instruments such as the mellotron, optigan and celeste throughout your album. Did you write with these elements in mind?

I discovered these instruments around the time I started recording with producer Les Cooper. I'd written all these songs and they had this vintage-y kind of vibe. It started with the song "I Know," which I wrote for my grandfather. I said to the producer, "I'd really like this to sound like a track that he would like, because this one's for him." Then Les told me, "I have all these crazy mellotron samples from the 30s. Let's just go through them." He had a full library of them on his computer, and I fell in love with the sound right then and there.

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Meaghan Smith - "Heartbroken"