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Rachel McIntyre Smith Premieres Her Hot New Single “Stoke the Coals”

Americana/alt-country singer-songwriter Rachel McIntyre Smith premieres “Stoke the Coals,” an early look at her new EP ‘Honeysuckle Friend.’



Rachel McIntyre Smith, photo by Rachel McIntyre Smith
Rachel McIntyre Smith, photo by Rachel McIntyre Smith

If evolution is one of the primary goals of a songwriting career, then we’d say that Rachel McIntyre Smith is doing just fine. Today, she reveals her new single, “Stoke the Coals.” This is the third single from her new EP, Honeysuckle Friend, due for release on August 23rd.

“Stoke the Coals” has lots of Southern spirit sewn into it, but it also features enough modern radio pop conventions to satisfy anyone. If you’re a keen listener, you’ll notice the heavy emphasis on banjo, mandolin, and other bluegrass elements within the song. McIntyre Smith doesn’t like to box herself into any genre, but she doesn’t hide her love of bluegrass. That’s why you will hear those influences throughout the five songs encompassing Honeysuckle Friend.

Discussing her inspiration for writing “Stoke the Coals,” McIntyre Smith states:

“You’ll never have a new flame if you don’t stoke the coals. That was the thought I had that ended up leading me to write this song. For a very long time in all aspects of my life, whether it be love or my music, I have played it safe. I like thinking things through and not taking a lot of chances. Last fall, I realized that a lot of stuff had died down. I didn’t have any big music opportunities happening, and I didn’t have any guys that I was interested in. I told myself to just start stoking the coals to see what could happen and not take things too seriously.

Honeysuckle Friend will follow McIntyre Smith’s debut EP, Glory Daze. This new set of songs is more mature, which is not surprising after releasing a first EP. She felt a certain level of angst writing Glory Daze, with its central theme being the uncertainty born out of seeing everyone you know moving on with their lives to new opportunities. Honeysuckle Friend features a more optimistic outlook of being happy with where you are. There’s a certain level of acceptance that comes with age, and McIntyre Smith has learned to find happiness with where she is at. She’s content with her place, and while she holds the good memories close, she is still optimistic for the future.

Touching on the recording process, she adds:

“Once I had the concept, the song came together pretty quickly. I liked the way that it sounded when I played it solo acoustic, but I knew I was going to love it once I got in the studio with Dran Michael to produce it. I had the exact idea in my head of how I wanted it to sound, and Dran really nailed it. We were able to knock it out in the studio in one day. The music just flowed together so easily, which was a good thing because the actual recording day was so stressful for me.

“The day before, we had been recording another song, and, at the end of the day when I left, I realized the brakes on my poor little Prius weren’t working. Luckily, I was able to not get into an accident. However, the next day when we recorded ‘Stoke The Coals,’ I had to get my Prius towed and figure out how I was going to get back to Nashville (Dran’s studio is in Chattanooga). I was mentally zoned out, so it was great to work with a producer who understood my vision well enough to execute it while I tried to get my car situation handled.

“I loved getting to play this song for my friends once it was mastered. It’s such a fun song. I hope it inspires some shenanigans.”

While Glory Daze focuses on endings, Honeysuckle Friend will seek new beginnings. Her greatest hope is that these songs provide listeners with the same renewed sense of hope they provided her. There is hope for the future, even if the future doesn’t always seem so bright. It’s one of the most important lessons we can learn and will take us far, just as it has Rachel McIntyre Smith.

Rachel McIntyre Smith “Stoke The Coals” single artwork

Rachel McIntyre Smith “Stoke The Coals” single artwork