Today’s Song: Constant Smiles Pick Up the Pieces in Poignant, Heavy “The Things I Miss”

Constant Smiles © Julian Master
Constant Smiles © Julian Master
A poignant, tender outpouring of loss and longing, brokenness and healing, Constant Smiles’ “The Things I Miss” captures heartache’s weight in a heavy song full of honest emotion, vulnerability, and inner resolve.
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Stream: “The Things I Miss” – Constant Smiles

Heartache is heavy: It weighs us down and wears us out. Our emotional baggage may not be physical in nature, but it affects every aspect of our lives, taking a toll on the heart, body, and mind – and in Constant Smiles’ new song, heartache reigns as a supreme presence, hanging over and under us, around us and through us. A poignant, gentle, and tender alternative outpouring of loss and longing, brokenness and healing, “The Things I Miss” captures heartache’s weight in a heavy song full of honest emotion, nostalgia, and bittersweet truth.

The Things I Miss - Constant Smiles
The Things I Miss – Constant Smiles
When you invited me
I should have taken it seriously.
I would have told you so…
I wish I would have let you know…
Do you remember me?
I will always remember you.
I’ll be ok eventually.
In better days we’ll see

Released November 3, 2021 via Sacred Bones Records, “The Things I Miss” is the solemn, sobering, and irresistibly moving third single taken off Constant Smiles’ upcoming fourth album, Paragons (out November 12). The Brooklyn-based collective led by multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Ben Jones (who tastefully surrounds himself with a flurry of talented, inspiring friends), Constant Smiles has been impressively active over the past decade-plus since the project’s debut. The three albums currently available on major DSPs –2018’s Lost, 2019’s John Waters, and 2020’s Control (a visceral blend of dream pop and shoegaze that paved the way for the more structured and accessible Paragons) – are just the tip of the iceberg for an artistry that has enjoyed a prolific, uninhibited DIY approach for many years.

The joke is that nothing about Constant Smiles’ fifteen years as a band, other than Ben Jones’ presence, has been in constant in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps that’s all starting to change; only time will tell.

Paragons - Constant Smiles
Paragons – Constant Smiles

Produced by Ben Greenberg, Paragons is as much an album of self-awareness and personal growth, as it is one of gratitude and reflection on those who’ve been there for the artist along the way. Jones calls it his “attempt to be a more exemplary person since getting sober,” and it is within this loose, but powerful framework that we may come to understand the depth of sentiment and emotion inhabiting “The Things I Miss.”

Following the album’s first two singles “Run to Stay” and the deeply pained, regretful “Daisy, Table for Three,” “The Things I Miss” showcases Jones and company’s ability to weave together intimacy and universality. His story is definitively his, and yet one needn’t have lived a day in Jones’ shoes in order to understand and appreciate the depths of “The Things I Miss.” You could be mourning a loved one who’s passed, or dwelling in the depths of post break-up sadness; you might even be missing an estranged friend you haven’t seen in years. No matter the case, “The Things I Miss” carries with it a world of familiar, relatable feelings that speak volumes to our shared human experience.

You are a part of me
and I am still a part of you.
I’ll carry it through the years.
I’ll keep it with me through the tears.

“‘The Things I Miss’ is about someone letting you into their life and trusting you to hold their safety in your hands but your foundation is brittle and rotten so you drop it and lose all of that hard work that took so long to build,” Ben Jones tells Atwood Magazine. “Then, when it falls apart, you try to pick up the pieces and learn from it.”

Constant Smiles © Lauren Davis
Constant Smiles © Lauren Davis

Do you remember me
like I remember you?
I’ll be ok eventually.

In better days we’ll see.

“The Things I Miss” is a song of self-awareness, self-acceptance, humility, and resolve. It’s a song of maturity and learning important life lessons the hard way. Ben Jones opens himself up in an incredibly vulnerable, intimate, and honest moment with listeners – inviting us to experience not only his pain, but his promise to himself to do better – to be better. Picking up the pieces is never easy to do, but it’s the first step in a heart’s road to recovery, and the kickstarter to the next chapter of a person’s story.

Feel the weight of Constant Smiles’ “The Things I Miss” below, and be sure to give Paragons your full attention come November 12.

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Stream: “The Things I Miss” – Constant Smiles

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