What Everybody Dreams Of: An Interview with Say Kids

When Nashville quartet Say Kids decided to hold off on releasing music in 2020, they instead put all their energy into making an album that meant something to them.

“We each take our own badge of honor having survived [the pandemic] and still sticking together,” frontman Peyton Smith said. “I know I'm super happy to have them around. We’re all best friends so it wouldn't change even if we weren't playing together.”

Writing songs and practicing their instruments happened on a daily basis during quarantine, but it was their optimistic attitude that kept them going. They knew there would be a day when the world would begin to heal, when live music would find its way back, and they wanted to be prepared. Having this time to flesh out each song and perfect them for future live performances was exactly what they needed.

Their first single of the year, “Honeydew”, captures the fearfulness that comes from invalidation. Smith wrote it with the intention of expressing his fear that their first live show post-pandemic would be missing its key players - their fans.

“I was fearful that I wasn't going to hear from any of the people I saw at shows or I was going to lose some of the people in the scene that we really cared about,” he said.

Although the lyrics were speaking to his specific fear at that moment, it quickly captured the fear everyone gets from not hearing from somebody. “Honeydew” is their way of saying that even though fans didn’t hear new music from them last year, they’re still here.

“No matter how scary things are ramping up in your life, and nobody may be telling you you're going in the right direction or that you're doing the right thing or you're surrounded by the right people, don't worry,” Smith said. “It was my way of trying to be a good friend because I really think COVID separated people in so many different ways. I think musicians really felt it a lot, not being able to find that community, and it's coming back and it feels so great.”

The world opening back up means they can finally share new songs, and ultimately share the new album. They recorded 12 songs over two days at the studios at HOME (Helping Our Music Evolve) with longtime friend Adam Lochemes, and hope to have it released by the end of the year.

“We really pushed ourselves musically,” Smith said. “I think what we've all taken away from this process is, ‘oh man, we did that’. All the hard work leading up to the recording made the process really fun and stress-free. We were really able to joke around and enjoy the experience together and I think just taking away that memory is what everybody dreams of.”