Smoke Season Divulge Their Influences

Alt-pop duo give us the lowdown on the songs that paved their musical path

Smoke Season My Top Ten

Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen have been winning the hearts of their local Los Angeles and beyond with their insightful brand of alt-pop. As Smoke Season, the duo recently released its latest single, “Good Days” — an infectious, pulsating track with buoyant synths and Gabrielle’s airy vocals leading the charge. The song is off an upcoming mixtape due out later this year that shows a new side of the band.

“The political situation in America has gotten so heavy that we were desperate to create art that was a reprieve from that,” Gabrielle and Jason explain of their sonic shift. “On the other hand, we’re growing as individuals and so are our personal artistic tastes so the changes have been really natural.”

ARTISTdirect caught up with the two-piece to get some insight on what makes them tick and the sounds that got them where they are today.

First single I bought…

Gabrielle: Smashing Pumpkins – “1979”

Jason: “It Takes Two” – Rob Base

First live show I attended…

Gabrielle: Lilith Fair – I got to experience Mya, The Pretenders and a bunch of other powerhouse women at the age of 11 and it totally shaped my live perspective.

Jason: Blind Melon – Ended up being a fan of theirs for life

First song I learned to play…

Gabrielle: “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd

Jason: “Blackbird” – Beatles

The song that encouraged me to learn my instrument of choice…

Gabrielle: Tori Amos – “Little Earthquakes” – I was trained as a classical pianist at a young age and Tori Amos definitely influenced my playing style.  This was the first song I ever heard that inspired me to play my piano like a synth or use it to create unconventional sounds.

Jason: “Voodoo Child” – Jimi Hendrix – I became pretty obsessed with guitar shortly after than.  Only wanted to play the blues.

The song that reminds me of home…

Gabrielle: Keane – “Somewhere Only We Know” – Spent my adolescence in Connecticut and haven’t been back in nearly a decade.  This song was the soundtrack to a lot of warm summer nights.

Jason: “Sugar Magnolia” – Grateful Dead – Gives me crazy nostalgia for New York.

My guilty secret track…

Gabrielle: ZAYN – “Pillowtalk” — I can’t help it.  The hook is too damn good.

Jason: “Toxic” – Britney Spears – This song was actually created by Miike Snow, who I am a big fan of.  The production and melodies are so insanely catchy.

The song I wish I wrote…

Gabrielle + Jason:  Michael Kiwanuka – “Cold Little Heart” – the full 9-minute version of this song is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

The finest song from my all time hero…

Gabrielle: Radiohead – “Talk Show Host” – It perfectly captures a psychological descent into madness

Jason:  “God Only Knows” – Beach Boys – The harmonies and melodies are mind-blowing.

The song I’ve written of which I’m most proud…

Gabrielle + Jason:  A song we haven’t released yet called “Coming Back Around” but if we’re going with the ones that are out, we’ll have to say “Good Days.”

The song that should be played at my funeral…

Gabrielle: “Sunshower” – Chris Cornell — This has been my favorite song since the 8th grade.

Jason: “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Beatles – This song has been giving me feels since I was a kid.

My favorite track from my most recent project…

Gabrielle + Jason: “Good Days”

Smoke Season Good Days album art

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