Suavity's Mouthpiece

Suavity's Mouthpiece


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"SM" quickly distanced themselves from Pittsburgh bands of the '00s owing largely to songwriter J. Trafford's ornate, layered studio productions and arrangements. Founded in 2008 by Trafford & bassist Meredith Bigatel, the group debuted on Alexis Icon’s Purple & Pink Records imprint in 2012 with the seething, brassy single MixedMedia. The release of the genre-blending full-length The Nuance of Suavity's Mouthpiece witnessed an increase in the group’s profile, with Pittsburgh Music Magazine declaring, “They truly are a band that one needs to experience.” Following the appearance of the song Benefits Odder Pennsylvanians in Pittsburgh Fashion Week and the departure of pianist Steph Cozza, SM’s live sound hardened with the addition of guitarist Nick Bigatel (Meredith’s older brother) and drummer Brian Zalewski in 2013. At the same time, the warmer, Wall of Sound-inspired textures of the Facetious Melody album gave a startling contrast to the group’s raucous onstage performances. Despite overwhelmingly positive critical reception across the US and in Europe, SM’s distinctly accessible 2014 single Good Exercise and the darkly luxurious Peerless Suavity album failed to win significant airplay for the group. Subsequently, Trafford opted to focus toward collaborative soundtrack projects and solo recordings, while the elder Bigatel and Zalewski went on to form heavy rock outfit Smokey Bellows (named for a lyric in Trafford's song Chassis).