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Dustin Bentall was born in Vancouver and is the son of the singer Barney Bentall. Being from a musical family meant that he grew up listening to the sounds of Neil Young, The Band, The Beatles and so on. Not a bad foundation if you're to embark on a career in music yourself. His new album 'Orion' is his third, although it's his first as Dustin Bentall & The Smokes, and his new band are sounding great on current single 'You Are An Island', a piece of classic songwriting that draws on many influences, including those he absorbed as a child, but with the distinct sound of contemporary North American alt-rock playing a large part too.
There are plenty of harmonies to be found on 'You Are An Island', and the lyrics paint an interesting picture of a human being. Despite this being a guitar-based song, it sounds fresh and new, and some credit for that must go to the breezy guitar and backing vocals. The general arrangement of the song is impressive too, incorporating strings, but only when needed; the song is good enough not to need production and instrumentation heaped upon it to disguise mediocrity. Yet again we find ourselves looking at a band who should be better known than they are.
Dustin Bentell & The Smokes' website
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