Luca Simeone, Kyle Takata, George Richter, and Sam McCarthy of Smug Honey. Photo courtesy of Smughoney.com

Have you found yourself looking back on 2022 lately? Specifically, when it comes to your favorite albums? Don’t start getting nostalgic just yet. Luckily, one band squeezed a last-minute album release before the new year, so dust off your record collection and make space for Smug Honey’s “Still Losing Days.”

This local four-piece band consists of a multi-talented lineup that includes Luca Simeone on guitar, vocals, and trumpet, Kyle Takata on the keyboard, vocals, and saxophone, with George Richter on bass, guitar, and vocals and Sam McCarthy on drums and percussion.

The first track, “Looking For You,” sets the stage for what’s to come and lulls you into Smug Honey’s world of smooth jazz and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and other crooners of the fifties and sixties.

Some of these songs, with their quiet whispery vocals, feel like an exchange of secrets between old friends. And you can’t help but lean in closer so as not to miss a beat. 

First-year theater major Caroline Catino gave “Still Losing Days” a thorough listening to and described it as funky, consistent yet captivating, and commented on each singer’s vocal range with wonder and fondness. She had many insights, specifically on tracks two and six, “Stargazing” and “Yesterday Friend,” both tunes are standouts on an unequivocally perfect record. 

“The opening part reminded me of stars and stargazing,” Catino said with a smile, “This is really well produced, clearly well thought out from beginning to end.” 

“Stargazing” greets the listener with a warm and welcoming lo-fi jazz intro that makes another visit close to the outro bringing the song full circle. “A song for any occasion,” Catino added.

When it came to “Yesterday Friend,” Catino was, again, not short of praise. “The vocals are amazing, literally perfect!” She noticed the cohesion of the record too, stating, “I feel like I could listen to this album and treat it as one song. It flows so nicely into the next one, but it’s also so different in the best possible way. I was just sitting there enjoying it the whole time”. 

The diversity of instruments “Still Losing Days” offers work together seamlessly, like a small symphony, and never gets out of hand or sloppy. Varying the vocals also serves to keep the album refreshing from song to song. 

“Still Losing Days” is like a gentle siren song, and before you know it, you’ll fall victim to its hypnotic spell wanting it to go on forever. To quote track three, “Can’t Whisper,” you’ll soon find these tunes “jaywalking through your mind,” and rest assured that will not be a problem. 

These songs work well on their own, but you could easily combine them on a playlist of Sade, Beth Orton or Zero 7, and they would fit in effortlessly.

The best way to amplify the “Still Losing Days” experience would be for the listener to sit by a cozy fire with a mug of hot chocolate. It is the perfect companion to comfort you through the cold weather and these sleepless nights spent studying, packing, and traveling.

After a semester full of lectures, you and your ears deserve an early holiday present. Treat them to “Still Losing Days,” which is available now on Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify. There is a song for everybody on this album! 

You can also support Smug Honey by following them on Instagram and Facebook.