The album art on the cover of David Smash’s new album, “State of Sunshine,” features a silhouette of Smash emerging from the ocean, arms spread wide in front of a bright orange sunset.
It's a fitting representation of the musician’s career in the United States.
“It’s like I’m emerging out of nowhere,” he says of the photo. “And that’s how I felt, moving here without knowing anyone.”
After moving to Sarasota last year, the 19-year-old Lithuanian-born guitar virtuoso hit the ground running. He immersed himself in the live-music scene and quickly established a reputation as one of the area’s prominent guitar players. Nearly a year in the making, his new album, “State of Sunshine” is now available for purchase at shows and will soon be available on Amazon and iTunes.
Smash recently sat down with the Observer to discuss the 12-track LP.
Tell me about your new album, “State of Sunshine.” Besides the obvious, where did the name come from?
When I first moved here, almost all the license plates said Sunshine State. I liked that, but it didn’t work as well, lyrically. When I was writing the album’s title track, I decided “State of Sunshine” had a better ring to it, and it was just an expression of what I saw when I moved here.
Where did you record?
I recorded at Howling Dog Studios in Palmetto. They had a full schedule, so it took almost a year of doing weekly sessions, but I’m happy with it.
Is this the first full-length album you’ve recorded?
I recorded at a friend’s professional studio in Lithuania, over the course of a few years. I would save up money from my band and then record over the summer.
How did this experience compare?
Well, the sound quality is a lot better, because they had better equipment, but it was tough to not be able to record whenever I wanted.
How do you compare working in the studio to your live performances?
In the studio, you can obviously cut things and find the best takes. In my live performances, I’m playing with a lot of different people, so the energy and style is always changing. But, I always try to maintain my level of energy and confidence when I play live.
You’ve been in the United States a little longer than a year now. How has it influenced your music?
I’ve been able to hear a lot more American music and realize that people really do still love blues and old rock and roll music. I’m still naturally growing as a musician, but this has definitely been part of my journey.
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I like them all, but people seem to really enjoy “Beauty Queen,” and “State of Sunshine.” It gives you a lot of satisfaction when people appreciate your songs.
How would you describe the album?
It really tells the story of my journey and experiences in the form of songs. Some of the songs were written in Lithuania, and some of them were written while I was recording, so it covers both sides of that. It can’t tell the whole story, but you get a chapter.
We’re going to go on tour and continue to promote the CD and submit it to music festivals. We want to film some footage from the tour and maybe release it as a documentary.