With his debut album just released and a huge national tour filling up the rest of his year, Steve Smyth is poised for success.

With a powerful and evocative sound that has captivated live audiences and the attention of contemporaries and critics alike, Smyth’s new album Exits was recorded in a home studio to better capture his raw performance style.

“I’ve tried to bring all different sounds to the album,” he says. “One side is raw, gritty, violent and guttural, and then the other side is careful, fragile and tender.

“I wanted these sides to sit right next to each other, but also still maintain a thread throughout.”

The tour will hit Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge on 2 November, but Smyth says his passion is playing to country towns.

“For this tour I’m trying to stay out of capital cities,” he says. “I remember when people used to play in my town.

“It was really important to me, so it’s nice to be out there and returning the favour somewhere along the line.”

Smyth isn’t just reaching local audiences, however; he’s just returned from a tour in Spain and playing shows in underground London clubs.

“God knows how it all happened – I really don’t know!” he says. “I’ve found myself in different corners of the earth among different cultures and languages, places that you’d never think you’d find yourself, and it’s hugely humbling.”

“A lot of the audiences knew no English, and so you’re reminded that music is more powerful than language. That’s the most beautiful thing about it.”