Smile Smile “Truth On Tape”

Smile SmileArtist:
Jason Whitbeck
Add Date:
August 27, 2010


Hello programmers, it’s Andy Gesner and the HIP staff bringing you another stellar offering from one of the best of the Lone Star state. You’ll notice that lately we’ve seen an uptick in the number of boy-girl duos hitting the indie music scene. Here at HIP, we’ve been fortunate enough to bring you some of the best. From indie standouts She & Him to the fairly new pairing of The Hundred In The Hands, they share certain characteristics that make their music work: mesmerizing vocals dominated by the female half as the male counterpart works off of her strengths. In the case of Smile Smile these roles are switched around, but you can be sure they deliver as impassioned and striking music as any of their contemporaries. Not to mention that this group has a history and chemistry that few others can touch.

It was only a few months ago that we first worked with Smile Smile when it came to their video for “Beg You To Stay,” so you should already be pretty familiar with their story. The Dallas-based band is comprised of Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme, a couple once-engaged who channeled how they dealt with their breakup through their sophomore release, Truth On Tape. But, as ELLE magazine pointed out, “… Instead of devolving into bitterness, Truth On Tape is an admirable attempt to salvage something beautiful from the wreckage of a relationship.”

This is something you clearly see and hear in Smile Smile’s second single, which holds the same title as the album name. Appropriately enough, the concept of the video is inspired by the album’s cover art. You first see Smile Smile standing side by side naked in a stark room, which you later realize is an exhibit showcasing minimalist art. Smile Smile is a showpiece themselves, and as attendees fill the exhibit, reacting to the bare bodies, they grab Sharpie markers and write words on these unique canvases. The same daring spirit that drove the duo to make an album based on the breakup of their own relationship is also what gives them the guts to strip down in front of their peers and critics. You see, the audience in this video are not actors, but rather well known members of other Texas bands (Polyphonic Spree, The Toadies, Sarah Jaffe), music industry professionals (House Of Blues, Universal, Kirtland Records) and even local press! And what you see is their completely candid reactions and emotions to the surprise of seeing Ryan and Jencey baring all. They are almost helpless, standing their expressionless as Hamilton repeats in the chorus, “You can’t escape when the truth is on tape.” Eventually, the crowd departs and Hamilton and Hirunrusme are able to leave the platform, but this is not without all their secrets and truths plastered over their bodies and now reflected on a wall with graffiti of their silhouettes.

Both the video and track of “Truth On Tape” leave quite a lasting impression. This is the kind of pop-folk blend that’s hard to resist. Hamilton’s vocals are consistently on point, exuding his pain, while Hirunrusme’s lingering backing vocals provide for a haunting feeling. At the end of the day, they’re simply a team that works well together musically, despite all that’s been said and done.

We’re excited to once again be working with the crew over at Kirtland Records, and are happy they have brought us another intriguing Smile Smile video. In case you missed out the first time around, we’ve got lots of copies of Truth On Tape for your consumption, so please don’t hesitate getting in touch. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at You can also visit or to find out more about Smile Smile.

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For info about Smile Smile’s previous video, “Beg You To Stay” click HERE