23 Sep 2023

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Jenni Smith - Single Review: I Don't Know How Not To

15 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant

Recent University of Auckland pop music degree graduate Jenni Smith is here to prove her newfound skill with her single I Don't Know How Not To. It's a dreamy number made effective by the driving feeling that this comes straight from the heart.

I Don't Know How Not To begins as a sparse, gentle ballad, emphasising Smith's delicate vocals and introducing its heartfelt topic of taking the leap to turn a friendship into a romance. But don't be deceived by its quiet opening. The song's production quickly takes off after the first chorus, blossoming into bright, slick instrumentation with simple yet striking harmonies and booming drums. In particular, the smooth guitar licks, in the vein of acts like U2 and Journey, give the track some real energy and power behind each emotive lyric. Although it's billed as a country-pop track, that stadium rock sound is a clear and effective influence.

Lyrically, Smith is clearly a storyteller inspired by the likes of Taylor Swift and Maisie Peters. Whilst some lines are relatively on the nose, it's easy to see how plainly spelling out the situation can make the feelings rise up and become all the more relatable to listeners. "We've been catching feelings in secret", she whispers in the dramatic bridge. It's direct and simple, but perhaps this is Smith's greatest songwriting strength. 

Jenni Smith's latest single is undeniably polished. It's sonically tight, cleanly mixed, and made from clear true passion for the craft. Fans of the genre should most definitely take a listen to this promising track.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Jenni Smith

Meet Jenni Smith, a 22-year-old country pop artist from Auckland who writes songs that tell stories from her personal perspective. Inspired by the storytelling of Taylor Swift and the sassy wit of Maddie and Tae, Jenni's music is both relatable and engaging. Jenni's blend of country and pop creates a sound that is both traditional and fresh, and her songwriting is honest and relatable.

Jenni's live shows are known for their energy and emotion, as she fully immerses herself in the music and connects with the audience. Jenni is constantly striving to grow and improve as a musician, and she hopes to connect with listeners and share her unique perspective through each new release. Jenni has already achieved several notable milestones, including winning a NZCMA Songwriter of the Year Award and releasing her debut single Make It or Break It in 2021.

Follow Jenni on Spotify to stay up to date on her journey and hear her latest releases.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jenni Smith


Acoustic Originals
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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