Multi-instrumentalist and member of Wilco and Autumn Defense, Patrick Sansone, today releases his version of Colin Blunstone’s “Smokey Day.” Sansone’s version of the song is accompanied by a moody and stark black and white video which Sansone shot in Iceland. The song can be listened to here, with the video available for viewing here.
A longtime fan of Blunstone and his band The Zombies, Sansone says “’Smokey Day’ from the album One Year is one of my favorite songs from one of my all-time favorite albums. For years I have been captivated by the song’s deep mystery and dream-like atmosphere. This cover version came about almost accidentally, originally starting as a rehearsal demo for a proposed performance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of One Year. That show unfortunately did not materialize, but the simple recording I did to prepare stuck with me, and about a year later I decided to add a few elements to flesh out the track for a possible release, including a string arrangement performed by Matt Combs. Years ago, I had the honor of touring as a solo opening act with the Zombies, and was able to express directly my deep admiration for their music. And now with the blessing of Colin Blunstone himself, as well as the writers of the song Chris White and Rod Argent, I am happy to share this version of ‘Smokey Day.’”
“I found myself in Iceland on tour with Wilco,” recalls Sansone about the inspiration for the video, “I was immediately struck by the otherworldly beauty of the landscape. It seemed like the perfect setting to match the feel of the track, so I, along with my partner Mae Moreno filmed some scenes around Reykjavik and in our drives through the countryside. With the help of video editor James DeMain, I was able to merge the images from Iceland with this song that I have such a deep love for.
“Smokey Day” was originally released on Blunstone’s first solo album One Year, an album released after the break-up of the Zombies. While not a commercial success upon its release, today the album is considered a masterpiece hailed by musicians like Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, and of course Sansone. “Smokey Day” was written and produced by Blunstone’s ex-Zombie bandmates Rod Argent and Chris White who produced the entire album.