Typically, a band's big indie label debut doesn't come 15 albums into its career, but with "
Constant Smiles' Paragons, here we are.
Primary songwriter and sole "constant" member Ben Jones-who considers Constant
Smiles a collective-sees its impressive output as a way to document the group's evolution.
Since its live debut as a noise duo on Ben's home of Martha's Vineyard in 2009, Constant
Smiles has grown to include contributions from 50 other members, all of whom have
personal connections to the group's extended family. And while the collective has indulged
an array of musical whims along the way - including Ben's penchant for penning a new
set's worth of material for each live performance - Constant Smiles' sound has tightened
up considerably over their past couple of albums, in large part as a result of Ben's working
relationship with Mike Mackey, who has become his main creative partner. This increased
focus manifests on Paragons in the band's most cohesive batch of songs to date, ranging from
shimmering psych-pop excursions to bittersweet, piano and string-accented strummers, and
an execution that feels like a massive step forward for the band.