ALBUM REVIEW: Allday – ‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’

Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane {The Colourful Writer}

There’s a thing about artists that like to recreate themselves every so often. Flowing, moving and growing as the years go by. Allday (Tom Gaynor) is one such artist. I have followed him from his earlier days of recording bedroom tracks like You Don’t Know. Girls In Jeans (still a fave of mine), Right Now, You Always Know The DJ. The divine team up of talent with The Veronica’s, Restless. Of course, the list goes on from there, with song after song of pure Allday magic. 

I also had the absolute pleasure of reviewing Allday at Brisbane’s gorgeous Fortitude Music Hall in 2019. I stood in complete awe of his performance that night. Allday is without a doubt, following his calling in life. His performance was captivating. His music brings so much joy to so many, myself included. 

Flash forward to the present moment and I have the pleasure of tuning in to Allday’s fourth studio album; ‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’ – released today, Friday 28th of May 2021 via Allday Music/Believe

The first thing that grabs me about this album is the new direction Allday is taking. Definitely a recreation of his art. Though there are glimmers of similarity to his previous album – ‘Starry Night Over The Phone’. There is a softness about these two albums that was not as prominent in his previous releases. His vocals are softer and topics covered in his lyrics seem more gentle too, there is a different level of emotion than his earlier work. And dare I say it (such a cliché) a certain maturity shining through. 

‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’ has a big 80’s and 90’s music sound and vibe going on. I hear elements of bands like The Lemonheads, The Clouds and The Cure. With more modern elements sounding influenced by talented artists such as Courtney Barnett

All possible influences aside, another thing that stands out strongly with this release is that it’s very much like a series of new diary entries from Allday. All his previous releases and this one are an ongoing glimpse into his mind, heart and soul. His emotions are poured out into this series of ten new tracks. 

Opening with Void, one of the singles released from the album. I love the lyrics to this one.

“…And I’ve got this picture in mind
Someday we’ll hang it on the wall
I don’t think I would be fine
Without you
And you will choose a choice
You will avoid the void
No need to curse the sky
When you wash your clothes, but they won’t dry…”

This track was also released with a music video that while simplistic in its approach, also makes quite an impact. 

Cup of Tea in the Bath is the second track and first of all, that sounds like a great idea, a nice relaxing cup of tea in the bath? Don’t mind if I do. It is also without a doubt influenced by The Cure, close your eyes and the opening of this one will have you thinking you’ve accidentally tuned into an 80’s playlist. This can only be a good thing (in my opinion). 

Stolen Cars opens with an 80’s (possibly 90’s?) dance vibe before Allday’s atmospheric vocals begin. This track, though fitting with his newer sound, also has elements of his earlier work. A kind of twisted love song, with a music video to match. Door showcases Allday’s alternative hip hop vibe to a tee. An easy beat, upbeat but chill, horns and vocals that swing from relaxed and soft to a little more raw and blunt. Melding of old and new.

The Paris End of Collins St is a story; a tale with huge Courtney Barnett vibes. Spoken word, deadpan style vocals that flow into a sing-along chorus and now I hear a real 90’s alternative sound, like The Clouds vibes. “I’m high on MDMA in Bunnings. I am holding hands with a guy in the paint section. I don’t want to go to the art gallery and pretend that I get it, I want to watch movies with happy endings…” The lyrics make me smile. This track is a stand out for me. 

After All This Time is strong Cure vibes again. With a little John Mayer in there too. I mean, I adore The Cure, John Mayer and Allday, so I am 100% ok with this mash up in my mind right now! The lyrics to this one are more basic and repetitive than some of the other tracks on the album though, which for me, lets it down a little. I can’t help but feel like this song is missing something. In saying that, I certainly don’t hate it. Though, look, I could easily be in the minority with my opinion here, this was, after all, released as the first single from the album, so it must have that certain something that gave it the permission to be the first light shined from the new album.

Fast Ride – I love this one. A mix of all the vibes and influences already mentioned previously. Layers of vocals. This track is more rock and roll than the others so far. Maybe even a slight Silverchair vibe underlying? Vocals definitely giving me a bit of a Daniel Johns feel. 

Piano with what sounds like wind chimes open Bright. This song feels sad and empty. Full of dark emotions and thoughts. Butterfly Sky – simple guitar strumming and clear vocals – this song is really pretty. Spin gives me very similar vibes to Butterfly Sky, it’s really beautiful. Even a hint of a classical feel with an Oasis Wonderwall vibe as well, these last two beautiful tracks wrap up the album.

‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’ has grown on me with every listen. I feel honoured to be able to review yet another creative, musical offering from Allday.  

Purchase/Listen HERE

Allday will be touring ‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’ in August. Including a return to Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall on Saturday August 28. More dates and venues below: 


Sat, Aug 07 – Metro City – Perth
Fri, Aug 20 – Enmore Theatre* – Sydney
Sat, Aug 21 – Thebarton Theatre – Adelaide
Fri, Aug 27 – The Forum – Melbourne
Sat, Aug 28 –  Fortitude Music Hall – Brisbane
*Licensed All Ages

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With thanks to Bossy Music

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