A young band bound by immense creativity and separated by geography will often either experience a flourish of success and then quietly disappear or chart a gradual road that leads to masterful song-craft and a devoted fan base.
An Atlas to Follow (whose members live in both Alabama and Tennessee) achieved both results of the latter with their 2012 EP, Golden Sun. The songs exude indie-folk mandolins, guitars, and banjos along with Thomas Smith’s charmingly love struck and bittersweet lyrics and Amanda Smith’s brilliantly arranged harmonies and, anchored by percussionist Zac Smith’s cajon instead of his original drum kit, a switch that Thomas credits as one of the major distinguishers of the band’s organic sound. The pacing of the album keeps the listener engaged with quick-witted musical breakdowns to pensive instrumental passive matched with even more thought-provoking lyrics. “Louisiana” presents a live recording vibe that ends with handclaps reminiscent of “Hey Jude” before falling into a flood of exuberant laughter.
Though most initially successful independent singer/songwriter releases fall by the wayside around the 3-month mark, the record secured a top spot in the iTunes Singer-Songwriter Best of List for 2012. Lead track “Be Kind to Boston” was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.
The three-piece tours over the southeast with major stops in Knoxville and Birmingham, where they have been featured on Birmingham Mountain Radio’s Southbound Radio Program and performers at both editions of the Southbound Music Festival.
An Atlas to Follow is currently working on their follow-up EP, Silver Moon. Keep an eye on the sky for flashes of brilliance from this exciting new band.