The Smittens are a hard-working, globe-trotting independent American twee pop band from Burlington, Vermont. The band is friends first and open-hearted indiepop revolutionaries after that. Max Andrucki, Missy Bly, Colin Clary, Dana Kaplan, Holly Chagnon, and David Zacharis switch up instruments, song-writing, and singing to create catchy, harmony-driven pop anthems and queer love songs—always brilliantly lyrical, and often brazenly political. Preferring to do it themselves, the Smittens handle every step of the process, from recording their own music to creating the distinctive artwork that graces the bands fliers and album covers, and booking tours at home and abroad.
Formed on a whim at a party in 2002 the Smittens have emerged as one of America’s best-loved underground indiepop sextets, releasing 4 full-length albums, 2 eps, and a cache of singles and compilation appearances; most recently Love Record Breaker, an 8 track album that features the last of Dana’s pre-transition vocals and the introduction of Missy Bly as a full time Smitten.
As a fixture on the international indiepop festival circuit, with appearances at the Indietracks festival, Athens Popfest, NYC Popfest, Popfest New England, San Francisco Popfest, London Popfest, Island in the Sun, and the Cosy Den Festival in Stockholm, the Smittens have been bringing their lively, melodic sound to new fans every chance they get. They have received lots of airplay on BBC Radio One and 6 Music.
To date the Smittens have toured multiple times across the US, the UK, and Sweden, and in Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, and Finland and have shared the stage with many bands they admire including Allo Darlin’, Go Sailor, Math & Physics Club, Tullycraft, The Mountain Goats, The Undertones, Ballboy, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Mates of State, We Are Scientists, Mirah, The Butchies, Kimya Dawson, Dub Narcotic Sound System, Tender Trap, Bishop Allen, The Essex Green, Comet Gain, Bunnygrunt, The Manhattan Love Suicides, Cats On Fire, Dear Nora, James Kochalka Superstar, and even the late Richie Havens!
Love Record Breaker press
“The vocal arrangements sound great, the reverb 1950s guitar sound wonderful. There will be no dancing at the indie disco to this and its all the better for it… Arguably their most important album to date.”
Neon Filler [8.5/10]
“there is nothing really to compare the Smittens with which is good in itself, so you just have to let you hair down a bit if you have some and listen to the simple sounds, chuckle at the naughty lyrics, pour yourself a dry martini and morph into a whore. Marvellous!”
Penny Black Music
“To pull off diversity in sound is a feat in itself, but to do so with a coherent sound is pure magic. Somehow, The Smittens do just that without any sign of strain. May they continue with equal exuberance.”
The Big Takeover
“There’s a certain sense of innocence in this song; it harkens back the the gifts of girl-groups of days gone by, accented by nice male backing tracks. You can’t listen to a song like this and not feel your emotions swell with joy.”
Austin Town Hall
“I love this!” [Upper West Side]
Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
‘Burlington band backs transgender singer’ [interview]
Burlington Free Press
Believe Me press
“each and every song they write is a rampant musical pleasure – they could force a smile on the sourest face. ‘Believe Me’ is a delightful album, perfectly timed for the sunshine and full of that summertime innocence”
“They craft bittersweet indie pop”
“Sounding like a Belle & Sebastian brought up solely on Tullycraft instead of all that Bob Dylan and ‘60s soul stuff”
“‘Believe Me’ is twee pop in the best possible way – jolly, carefree and full of character”
Shout 4 Music
“Burlington, Vermont’s most lively bubblegum group have gone all Magnetic Fields – synthesised 80s pop references, baritone vocals, lyrical gay playfulness”
Sweeping The Nation
“The Smittens have carved out a unique underdog niche built around happy tunes peppered with surprisingly melancholy, socio-political-influenced lyrics”
Burlington Free Press
Burning Streets Of Rome press
“a natty little pop tune”
Drowned In Sound [Burning Streets Of Rome single]
“a wonderful touch of The Magnetic Fields about [Burning Streets Of Rome]” Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
A Decade of The Smittens by Stuck In Vermont