These phrases are specific to the cultural geography of the singer, guitarist, and songwriter’s Des Moines, Iowa hometown, a music and arts community with a rising national profile highlighted by praise from the Talking Heads’ David Byrne and glowing explorations from Politico and The Atlantic. But Smith’s words also help evoke the Maytags’ journey to this sultry nine-song set, one that also runs through Smith’s time in New York — where studied jazz as a drummer — and the band’s recording sessions in Tennessee. Other band members have roots in St. Louis; all studied jazz, mainly in central and northern Iowa. If there can be a New South, then there can be a sound that’s Midwest Nouveau.
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