Interview: Reveling with Your Smith’s “In Between Plans” Euphoria

Your Smith © Samantha Marquart
Indie pop artist Your Smith discusses her embrace of life’s journey on “In Between Plans,” a buoyant song radiating utter joie de vivre.
Stream: “In Between Plans” – Your Smith


Your Smith’s latest single comes with a simple, powerful message: We don’t need to know where our life is headed, in order to enjoy it in the moment. A euphoric song full of emotional depth, “In Between Plans” captures utter joie de vivre: Joy for life, through and through.

In Between Plans - Your Smith

In Between Plans – Your Smith

On the water when I came to
In the haze of the sunlight
Neon daze on the portside
My only dollar soaked through
I don’t know where it came from
That’s a shame when you need one
My friends on the boat
say ‘get in the van’

But I don’t take the note
’cause I’m in between plans

Released July 25th via Neon Gold Records, “In Between Plans” is Your Smith’s third single of 2019, and a powerful display of musical force from the indie pop up-and-comer born Caroline Smith. Following this year’s impassioned, distinctive songs “Wild Wild Woman” and “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” – each of which delivers a head-spinning listen in its own right – “In Between Plans” is the perfect icing on the cake, plus the cherry on top. A veritable hit in the making, the song has already received considerable accolade and attention – including being named an Atwood Magazine Editor’s Pick!

For Smith, her new release captures a significant unburdening of worries and woe. “It means, quite simply, accepting the journey you’re on, which is a very hard thing to do especially in this industry. Everyone’s bank accounts are screaming for a plan; the pressure to know exactly what you will be doing 6 months from now as an artist is overwhelming. It keeps you constantly thinking about the future and spending exactly zero time in the present moment.”


Written with Joe Janiak and Max Hershenow during a trip in Nicaragua, the song came out of a time during which Smith felt herself to be in a sort of limbo. Her debut EP Bad Habit was newly released, and like so many artists coming off an important, life-changing project, she was going through a “free fall” trying to figure out what was next.

“I was abandoning everything and starting over,” she recalls. “And it intersected with this trip to Nicaragua so perfectly. New beginnings abounded and I worked to be present for it.”

During that trip, Smith had what she calls the best day of her life. Coming off that high, she captured its revelry in song. “In Between Plans is the soundtrack I wrote to the best day of my life, when the sheer abandon of who I was intersected with the acceptance of the unknown journey ahead of me. It took one trip to Nicaragua, two new best friends, and one hit of acid for me to see that life is indeed a journey. This song is about that day.”

Your Smith with Joe Janiak and Max Hershenow, Nicaragua © 2019

Your Smith with Joe Janiak and Max Hershenow, Nicaragua © 2019

With its energizing guitar licks, bouncy rhythms, and a driving pulse, “In Between Plans” is in constant motion forward. Your Smith sings of life’s struggle; of being at a crossroads, and not quite knowing what the future holds – and being okay with it, because life is the journey and not the end result. Excitingly, Smith says the song is 100% autobiographical.

I find a bar, man the ceiling moves
Get a cocktail Carolina
When I finally make my mind up
The waiter says,
‘kid, what happened to you’

I guess I could see what he meant
‘Cause I wasn’t makin’ much sense
And I left all my
clothes on the catamaran

But that’s just how it goes
when I’m in between plans

That’s just how it goes
when I’m in between plans, yeah

“In Between Plans” inspires smiles with its feel-good vibe. It’s a driving song for living life in the moment: For finding the light and love in the everyday, and accepting that this – the present moment, not the future or past – is what it’s all about. We will always and forever be in-between plans; stop worrying, stop overthinking, and just live! Close my eyes and sway; dance until dark, like nobody’s watching.

Atwood Magazine caught up with Your Smith to discuss her musical identity, new songs, inspirations, and plans. Embrace this moment and live “In Between Plans” with a little help from Your Smith!

Stream: “In Between Plans” – Your Smith

IN-BETWEEN PLANS WITH YOUR SMITH

Atwood Magazine: Hey Caroline, thank you so much for taking the time! “In Between Plans” is easily one of your happiest songs to date. Can you talk about how you felt while writing it?

Your Smith: I’m so glad that the happiness is emitting across air waves! Because I was maybe the happiest in my life at the very moment. You know the day after an amazing day, you kind of have a best-day-hangover? (Well, we were also extremely hung over from a host of substances) But it’s hard to be creative in that head space – in the hungover head space. So we were a bit like, “What do we write about after your serotonin has been completely drained from your body and hasn’t had a chance to restore itself yet?” So the only plausible thing to write about was the day that drained it in the first place.

You’ve previously said that you wrote “In Between Plans” as the soundtrack to “the best day of your life.” How did the story of “In Between Plans” came to life?

Your Smith: So imagine this: I’m on a catamaran in the middle of the ocean with crystal blue waters and beautiful mountains on a sunny day having an extremely wonderful day with new friends and collaborators. And after a little acid (why not have your first time be in an impeccable setting) I absolutely fell in love with two new friends, Lizzy and Joe, and we proceeded to have a 14 hour adventure of non-stop laughing, deep conversations, and finding all the ways in which we move through life in a similar matter. Since then they’ve taught me so much in letting go and having a good time when life calls for it.

How much of the “In Between Plans” story is autobiographical?

Your Smith: 100% of it.

I’ve heard a lot from various artists about Nicaraguan trips lately; out of curiosity was this trip with Joel Little and the Broods / Nott siblings? Either way, how was that experience for you?

Your Smith: Needless to say the experience was extremely special for me. I met a lot of people that have continued to be my closest friends and collaborators. Neon Gold really knows how to bring people together. This was not the trip with Broods, although I love them both so dearly.

Stone cold Jesus outstretching his hands
He said, ‘where ya going so soon?
You could live up in the guest room’
His words float to me like perfume
But I gotta get a move on
Gonna try to get some shoes on
He said ‘ you really got the world
in the palm of your hands’

But I’m rolling quesadillas
yeah, I’m in between plans

I could set it in stone
but I’m writing in sand

That’s just how it goes
when I’m in between plans, hey!


We’ve kind of danced around it, but what specifically does being “in-between plans” mean to you?

Your Smith: It means, quite simply, accepting the journey you’re on, which is a very hard thing to do! Especially in this industry. Everyone’s bank accounts are screaming for a plan; the pressure to know exactly what you will be doing 6 months from now as an artist is overwhelming. It keeps you constantly thinking about the future and spending exactly zero time in the present moment. I am especially bad at it. But when I was invited to Nicaragua, I was going through a kind of release in my life. A free fall, so to speak. I was abandoning everything and starting over. And it intersected with this trip to Nicaragua so perfectly. New beginnings abounded and I worked to be present for it. That’s what this song is about.

For me, this song is euphoric. What brings you euphoria? What gives you that kind of feel-good happiness?

Your Smith: Cooking!

You could argue this is a very summery song, but for me it’s also just a happy song I think a lot of people needed right now. Why was now the right time to release this song?

Your Smith: I honestly didn’t think people would connect with this one as deeply as they have. And it’s a good lesson to learn. You don’t have to write emotional songs for your art to speak to people. I’ve heard a lot of people that are going through the same thing I went through – the anxiety-induced scramble to figure out what the hell they’re doing with their lives. And this song can’t cure that, but if it can distract you from it for at least three and a half minutes, then I feel I’ve done my job.

You don’t have to write emotional songs for  art to speak to people.

Your Smith © 2019

Your Smith © Samantha Marquart

Your Smith © 2019

Your Smith © Samantha Marquart

This is your third studio release of the year, following “Wild Wild Woman” and “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” I absolutely love your message in “Wild Wild Woman!” What inspired that song for you?

Your Smith: Thank you! I have a close friend who was reading “Women Who Run With The Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés for the first time and she was going on and on about how I need to read this book. I grew up with a single mother in a very feminist household (My mother put on “The Vagina Monologues” at her coffee shop in a northern Minnesotan town of 7,000 people. It didn’t go over that well), and you kind of develop aversions to what your parents were trying to cram down your throat for the first 18 years of your life. So I avoided that book and wrote it off as “cheesy feminist literature.”

After having dinner with my friend who was insisting I give it a go, I took my copy off my shelf that my mother gave to me for my high school graduation, and opened it for the first time. Written on the first page was a note from my mom that I had never seen before. I think I needed to be 31 to find it. But it moved me so deeply and something inside of me at that moment snapped into my heritage, where I came from. And I wrote “wild wild woman” for my mom, for my grandmother, and all the generations of women before me. I know it’s cheesy. I know there are bigger fish to fry in 2019. But it was an undeniable feeling and the truest thing I’ve felt in a long, long time.

If you had to use one of these tracks to define your current mood, which would song would it be?

Your Smith: I think “Wild Wild Woman” is my eternal mood forever.

Lastly - We’re coming up on a year from your first EP under the new name ‘Your Smith.’ How has this identity allowed you to branch out from Caroline Smith?

Your Smith: I invented Your Smith so Caroline Smith could take a little bit of a break. Your Smith does all the heavy lifting and makes the phone calls Caroline Smith hates making – Caroline Smith can be a bit of a people pleaser at times. But not Your Smith. And in the past year, I’ve started taking on the qualities of Your Smith. Her steadfastness. Her boldness. Her unapologetic nature. I don’t know if the two will ever truly merge, but I’m forever grateful for the ways in which Your Smith has helped me grow as Caroline.

How do you relate to your EP a year out now?

Your Smith: It feels like the truest art I’ve ever made. It sounds like me. it brings me peace knowing I can’t regret ever making it because there was no other thing I could have made.

Similarly, how did you move on from your first recordings? How did you know which way was the path forward, and when did a certain sound or style feel right, “like home” for you?

Your Smith: I feel a bit embarrassed of my first recordings but I have a hard time saying that because I don’t want anyone that still appreciates them and listens to them to feel alienated. But to me, it sounds like the young version of me that thought they had it figured out. And that can be a bit cringy for anyone. We’ve all been there. Especially artists.

Your Smith © 2019

Your Smith © 2019

What does Your Smith have in store for us for the rest of the year?

Your Smith: The entire EP drops in September on the heels of a national tour supporting K. Flay. After that more touring, more writing, more releasing, more Your Smith.

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:: stream/purchase “In Between Plans” here ::
Listen: “In Between Plans” – Your Smith

 

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In Between Plans - Your Smith

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:: Stream Your Smith ::



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com