Dami Im became one of X Factor Australia’s greatest finds when she won the contest in 2013. The petite woman with a big voice wowed crowds with her rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” and her self-titled album went to #1 on the ARIA charts. Showing Australia that she could do more than just sing hits- she could write them too, her next album was led by catchy hooks of “Gladiator,” and the Korean born singer became known for her insatiably dance worthy tracks that set the charts ablaze with her characteristic sweet nature and quirkiness.
Returning with “Smile,” it is clear Dami has found her stride in the music industry. Her dance-worthy pop-tastic niche is grasped with full force, and a fun saxophone rift drives the song. Moody and eclectic from the get go; clapping sets the song up for a bold chorus. Im’s vocals are soulful and restrained as she says, “You’re out of touch, in overtime, You’re running in, you’re running, Better left behind,” and the beauty of her tones are accentuated through this.
Mixing the track with synth and the addition of backing vocals, the chorus actually makes you feel like smiling. Sure, she repeats the word “Smile” a few dozen times, but the upbeat melody and the energy and zest in the vocals and band invigorate you. Given the chance to show off her incredible range, we see Dami implement vocal rifts, and this pushes the song to another level.
If we’re to be honest, it’s extremely unusual to have a song this bright and poppy on the radio. The lyrics are all about doing the things that make you happy and pushing aside the stress of life, and there is a soul and big band sound that mixes with contemporary electronic sounds to formulate quite a unique song. Yet somehow Im pulls all these conflicting elements together, and she delivers a high-energy performance that will put a smile on your face and give you that extra ‘oomph’ in the day.
While it’s not hugely climatic, “Smile” is a fun diddy that puts other bubble-gum pop to shame with Im’s superb talent. I guarantee it, when you listen to this song, you will smile. And in that, Dami Im can say ‘mission accomplished.’