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Smokelines bring fiery lyrics

Their pop-dance single “Heartbreak Looks Better” drops this month

“We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”
“We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”

Smokelines is the product of our regional, cultural, and musical differences,” says San Diego-born Skylar Blaze Star, one half of a new musical duo with New Yorker Faith Gara. “We’ve combined my west coast sunset city identity and Faith’s rural-urban east coast background into a newfound shared perspective that speaks to our commonalities in the trials-and-errors of adulthood.”

Their pop-dance single “Heartbreak Looks Better,” which drops this month, is described by Star as “An anthemic song that brings light to how some of us appear to look after a break-up, unfazed and stunning, as if we didn’t miss a beat. The song explores the heartbreak process, dealing with being a victim of infidelity while keeping their beautiful composure on the outside.”

According to Star, “A majority of our lyrics and music styles are heavily influenced by our personal experiences. At the beginning of our writing process, we like to pick a setting, so we have a clear vision of where the story is being narrated, even if that means two different places like ‘Heartbreak Looks Better’ does.”

The pair met when both found themselves in a small college music program. “Shortly after, we became close friends and turned our conversations into songs. We began writing so much together that we decided why not release the songs we write together under a collaborative name? We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”

Star is temporarily living near Gara in New York while in college earning a music degree. “Since covid-19 hit, it’s been the longest I’ve been away from home…. I am hoping to work with a San Diego-based producer on one of our next tracks for our upcoming EP. Technology has really changed our work flow during this time, so it’s been really cool to collaborate with people on the other side of the country.”

Some Smokelines songs were written in San Diego when Gara and Star were in town together last year. “As we were working on some new material, I was also showing Faith around my area and taking her to some local music venues. We ended up writing some songs on the beach in Mission Beach late night while we were there. It was really dope to have a full-circle moment and go back to my roots for inspiration.”

At least one of those tracks is in consideration for an upcoming release. “Growing up in San Diego, I was really inspired by a wide variety of music, notably the punk scene. The Warped Tour was where it was at for me. Then I got into the electronic dance music scene and would go around all of San Diego searching for the coolest local DJs to watch their sets for inspiration. I’m still in contact with some of them now. Watching hundreds of live sets and musicians is ultimately what drove me to choose music as my career.”

But the band’s plan to hone their chops on stage was abruptly halted. “Right before the pandemic hit, we performed at the legendary downtown New York City bar the Bitter End. We also got the chance to perform with Mr. Little Jeans at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I played the keys alongside Faith singing background vocals. That was a big performance highlight for me… piano is one of my other passions, I’ve been playing classically since I was five.”

Both women consider Smokelines a self-contained and independently operated songwriting collective of sorts, even if there are only two members. “We write, record, perform, produce, self-manage, market, and distribute all of our own work. The beauty of being independent artists is having full creative control over our work and careers. We don’t have to conform to industry pressure.

“It’s a fresh outlook and unique collaboration that questions the typical group-contract.”

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“We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”
“We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”

Smokelines is the product of our regional, cultural, and musical differences,” says San Diego-born Skylar Blaze Star, one half of a new musical duo with New Yorker Faith Gara. “We’ve combined my west coast sunset city identity and Faith’s rural-urban east coast background into a newfound shared perspective that speaks to our commonalities in the trials-and-errors of adulthood.”

Their pop-dance single “Heartbreak Looks Better,” which drops this month, is described by Star as “An anthemic song that brings light to how some of us appear to look after a break-up, unfazed and stunning, as if we didn’t miss a beat. The song explores the heartbreak process, dealing with being a victim of infidelity while keeping their beautiful composure on the outside.”

According to Star, “A majority of our lyrics and music styles are heavily influenced by our personal experiences. At the beginning of our writing process, we like to pick a setting, so we have a clear vision of where the story is being narrated, even if that means two different places like ‘Heartbreak Looks Better’ does.”

The pair met when both found themselves in a small college music program. “Shortly after, we became close friends and turned our conversations into songs. We began writing so much together that we decided why not release the songs we write together under a collaborative name? We like to say that we write some pretty fiery lyrics. Hence the name Smokelines.”

Star is temporarily living near Gara in New York while in college earning a music degree. “Since covid-19 hit, it’s been the longest I’ve been away from home…. I am hoping to work with a San Diego-based producer on one of our next tracks for our upcoming EP. Technology has really changed our work flow during this time, so it’s been really cool to collaborate with people on the other side of the country.”

Some Smokelines songs were written in San Diego when Gara and Star were in town together last year. “As we were working on some new material, I was also showing Faith around my area and taking her to some local music venues. We ended up writing some songs on the beach in Mission Beach late night while we were there. It was really dope to have a full-circle moment and go back to my roots for inspiration.”

At least one of those tracks is in consideration for an upcoming release. “Growing up in San Diego, I was really inspired by a wide variety of music, notably the punk scene. The Warped Tour was where it was at for me. Then I got into the electronic dance music scene and would go around all of San Diego searching for the coolest local DJs to watch their sets for inspiration. I’m still in contact with some of them now. Watching hundreds of live sets and musicians is ultimately what drove me to choose music as my career.”

But the band’s plan to hone their chops on stage was abruptly halted. “Right before the pandemic hit, we performed at the legendary downtown New York City bar the Bitter End. We also got the chance to perform with Mr. Little Jeans at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I played the keys alongside Faith singing background vocals. That was a big performance highlight for me… piano is one of my other passions, I’ve been playing classically since I was five.”

Both women consider Smokelines a self-contained and independently operated songwriting collective of sorts, even if there are only two members. “We write, record, perform, produce, self-manage, market, and distribute all of our own work. The beauty of being independent artists is having full creative control over our work and careers. We don’t have to conform to industry pressure.

“It’s a fresh outlook and unique collaboration that questions the typical group-contract.”

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