Village Manor stay positive in the face of life’s day-to-day difficulties with their new single and video Just Smile — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
With beautiful guitar fingerpicking, piano, and frayed-edges vocals soaked in experience, Just Smile is a beautiful, cascading ballad that gives voice to a sleep-deprived, working-class existence. “Well it’s four in the morning, waking up for us / The stars are still shining as you run to catch the bus / You’re young but getting older with hard times / One more dream will make your whole life shine.”
The bills are stacking up, and all the parents can manage each night is a few minutes to read a bedtime story with their child. The next day, the entire routine is repeated all over again. At this point, a representation of the child’s voice comes in — “My book, please read it slowly, and listen to what it says / It says you think you’re going somewhere, but you’re going nowhere fast.” There’s sadness in both the parents and the child, but there’s also a prompt to enjoy these small moments of togetherness and weave them into dreams.
Ultimately, the song contains feelings of both discouragement and hope, and the desire of both the parents and the child to make each other’s lives easier: “And if I can make it happen, I would make your dreams come true / Just smile, as we wipe the tears away, smile.”
Village Manor wrote the song to spread a message to not take our children’s love for granted. “The child keeps hoping and wishing that the parents will find their dream,” the Toronto folk-rockers explain. “Listen to them and give them the unconditional love and time they so rightly deserve. From the parents’ perspective, they’re sacrificing so much for their love of their children.”
The group started in 2018, with founding members Sam Kay and John Weinberg meeting their bandmates through chance and cosmic encounters. The acquired singer Mike Levine, a gifted and amazing singer and stage man, as he was performing with his Tragically Hip tribute band. The group quickly rounded out with the artistic talents of bassist/sound engineer Mike Grundy and Toronto percussionist Corey Weinberg.
Starting as an open-mic cover band, Village Manor tackled important subject matter right out the gate with their debut single Gunsaway, about the prevalence of gun violence in society. They are currently writing and recording the rest of their debut album.
Watch the video for Just Smile above, sample more songs from Village Manor below, and follow them on Facebook.