Best Ex – With a Smile

I’m late to the party, but Best Ex released her debut album With a Smile in October! Following her sophomore EP Good at Feeling Bad, With a Smile set out to capture the excitement and anxiety around falling in love with a stranger, and the coming of age feeling she’s experienced within the last few years. I find that it’s done that extremely well, as the most common thought I had while listening was ‘this sounds like the music in coming-of-age movie’.

The sound of With a Smile is a boppy-poppy indie rock, with soft vocals and a range of emotion within the lyrics. Some happy, and hopeful and some that clearly show a battle with anxiety.
The album begins with a soft introduction, although it was slow to grab my attention, I found that I enjoyed it more as it progressed – yet it nicely wraps up by returning to the feelings found in the first few tracks.

The two songs that I particularly like on the album are Stay With Me, a soft, almost waltz song, which was mellow and honest, and had a different pace to the rest of the album, and Joyride – Glad You Found Me, a happy and romantic song written for husband, and how he changed her views of love and soulmates. I probably like it as I related, since I’ve been through a similar situation myself.  

Although I enjoyed it at the end, I wouldn’t say that With a Smile is a perfect album – what is, though? In this case, I have found that the songs did begin to sound the same as each other, which took away my attention from some tracks. I also found some lyrics in the beginning that came across as quite pick-me, which I’m hoping isn’t what their intentions were, but again, did put me off some songs, particularly in Tell Your Friends.  

As the album has been out a while, maybe you’ve given it a listen – if not, you can right now, and see if With a Smile is something you love.  

Vicki Evans

December 8, 2023

View all author posts