The Others Like Us, a one man band, recently released a new album on Friday, October 19. The album contains some songs originally on the The Loudest Scream is Silent EP, a collection put out over the summer.
The Others Like Us is run by Sam Smith, ex-member of the band, Accident Artist. Smith began working on the project two years ago for his former group but was informed that the band just “wasn’t there.” Instead, the members encouraged him to pursue it as a solo project.
He continued working on these songs over the last couple of years, drawing from personal experiences throughout high school, but he didn’t share any of them until this last summer with his EP, shortly before Accident Artist officially went their separate ways.
He chose the name “The Others Like Us” from a conversation he and former bandmate, Quinton Hoagland, had a while back in a McDonald’s. The two were discussing names when the phrase was proposed – and both liked it for entirely different reasons.
I questioned Smith on what it meant to him, and he insisted that he didn’t want to divulge that information.
“It means what it means,” he says. “I found instant meaning in it.”
He wants people to assign their own meaning to the name, like he did, a sentiment repeated for his first full length album.
Ironically, Self-Titled is an emotional ten-song production that both takes you on a sad journey, exploring mental illness, and parodies the mid-west emo scene. With song titles drawing from the game, Legend of Zelda – an action mimicking a group of musicians that named their track after Mario Kart – the parody is subtle and more respectful than mean-spirited.
To dive more into the explanation of some of the titles, Smith explains that the longest (and his personal favorite) one was a snide motion against Panic! at the Disco’s long-winded titles.
His favorite song on the album is “I’m Falling For A Very Long Time Into A Pit My Therapist Would Call Depression,” the title coming from Pixar’s Inside Out. Smith noticed a poster during the Dream Productions part that said, “I’m falling for a very long time into a pit,” and thus the tune was named.
Another example of the unique name-game played in dubbing these tracks is “Coup de Grace.”
The term, coup de grace, is French for “stroke of grace” or “blow of mercy,” a very dark phrase, but the reason for the song title was actually very “geeky and lame” (Smith’s words). The song was actually just named after his favorite pro-wrestler, Finn Balor.
Despite the playful, silly song titles, Smith writes to heal and inform people of mental illness, and he hopes others take comfort in the knowledge that someone else is dealing with the same emotions.
“I’m a sad person,” he claims, when explaining the direction Ironically, Self-Titled went.
“That’s why I didn’t really want to do an album release party. It wouldn’t be a party; it would just be a cry session.”
However, I was assured that a live event will be done soon. Smith is ready to get back into performing, and he has even spoken to other bands about hopping on the lineup some time to play his new releases.
He cites Bon Iver and Sorority Noise as major inspirations for this album. They were what made him go for the raw, emotional stripped sound.
Smith plans to add more members to the band and is actively searching for a drummer. The goal for The Others Like Us is to go for a fuller, punk sound (like PUP or Sorority Noise’s first album), but Smith seems to believe that it’s “light years away” – most likely because of the difficulties he has faced with adding other musicians.
When asked what he would like to say to current and potential fans, the following message was given:
“I think that if you like this album, good, support it, find meaning in it. If you can connect to something I say, I hope you’ll hold onto that. That’s kind of what I thought this album would be; it gave me meaning to stay here a little longer and keep going.”
Check out Ironically, Self-Titled by The Others Like Us on all usual streaming sites – or listen to it below.