Audrey Smilley is a band, not a girl. It is named after a girl, who lives somewhere in England, but is no longer a girl, but the band is not a girl, nor are there any girls in the band.
Audrey Smilley was formed in 1988 by former members of the Arizona death/goth band Theatre of Ice. Drawing on influences as diverse as Blue Oyster Cult, KISS, Neil Diamond, and the Beatles, Audrey Smilley played shows all over the Wasatch front in Utah. The band’s blend of acoustic and electric guitars with tight three and four part harmonies stands out immediately. Lyrically, Audrey Smilley is eclectic, ranging from love songs to dark humour.
Plagued by an almost endless procession of drummers, the band struggled throughout this period to share its original music with a public steeped in a top 40 mentality. They played throughout Utah up until December of 1990 when the band relocated to southern California.
However, their brand of guitar-based alt-rock was not to break through the hair band stranglehold on the charts until about 1992 (Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Refreshments, et. al). Sadly, by then Audrey Smilley was long gone. After a triumphant California debut at a Huntington Beach night club, the band called it quits in the summer of 1991.
Much of the band’s pre-California history was chronicled by Kels Goodman in the independent film, “Audrey Smilley: The Life of a Struggling Band.” It’s a fascinating, if somewhat depressing, look at what the band went through at their peak.
The band reformed for a triumphant reunion show at Velour in Provo, Utah in July 2013. It was full circle for the band who helped blaze the trail for bands playing original music in Provo. After struggling to be heard for so many years, it was serendipitous for the band to play in the Utah County club that launched international acts like the Neon Tree and Imagine Dragons.
In 2015, their original 12-song-CD was remixed and remastered. Hear them now like you’ve never heard them before.