On the opening track of Shane Smith & the Saints’ new Hail Mary LP, “Heaven Knows,” singer and guitarist Shane Smith lays bare the last four years of his band’s journey. “We set our sails for deeper seas, heaven knows what we will find,” he sings.
Since releasing their last prior album, 2015’s Geronimo, the Austin, Texas, five-piece have plunged ever deeper into their adventure as a touring band. Hundreds of shows a year in more than 40 different states and on three different continents, including visits to Ireland and Malaysia, have brought them to the 10 stormy tracks that make up Hail Mary, which will be released June 28th.
Now three albums and nearly 10 years into their career, Shane Smith & the Saints are ready to go for broke. “It pretty much summarizes where we are as a band and where I am as an individual after pursuing this for practically the last decade,” Smith says of Hail Mary. “We’re a scrappy group of guys and this is more or less one of those moments where we’re really trying to put it all out there. We’re trying to give it our best shot on this record.”
Recorded at the same hometown studio as Geronimo, Matt Noveskey (of Blue October)’s Orb Recording Studio, Hail Mary was produced by Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, The Killers), marking the first time the band has worked with an outside producer. Inspired by Shane Smith & the Saints’ reputation as a high-energy live act with stunning four-part harmonies, Needham focused on capturing that un-doctored chemistry in the studio.
With Hail Mary, those fans will have their best representation yet of the barnstorming concerts that likely drew them to Shane Smith & the Saints in the first place. “After four years of touring and sweat equity, it’s significantly helped and changed our sound,” Smith says. “But the really cool thing is that, as our sound has truly started going away even further from what the norm is in Texas Country and Red Dirt, that same group of people is jumping on board now more than ever before.”
Heaven knows Shane Smith & the Saints have earned that loyalty.