Niilo Smeds - Once You Were A Baby

Format: 12" Black Vinyl
Run: 500
Design: Niilo Smeds
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Price: $17.99


Once You Were a Baby is the new album from Niilo Smeds, available on vinyl and digital from Gold Robot Records. The 13-song collection moves from post-Willie pseudo-country to synth-drenched ghost stories to instrumental introspections. The record is anchored by Niilo’s fingerstyle guitar, tape-echoed vocals and evocative lyrics.

The songs were mostly self-recorded with a minimal setup at home in Portland, Ore., where he moved in 2014 after spending time in Fresno, San Francisco and Oakland. Greer McGettrick composed and recorded cello arrangements and Russell Higbee played Prelude synthesizer and YC-20 organ. Niilo played guitars, bass, Alpha Juno and MPC2000XL. Niilo mixed the record at home and Timothy Stollenwerk mastered it at Stereophonic in Portland.


01. Niilo Smeds - Marker of Days
02. Niilo Smeds - Phlox
03. Niilo Smeds - There Goes Your Woman
04. Niilo Smeds - Land of Bad Memories
05. Niilo Smeds - Betula
06. Niilo Smeds - Fun Things
07. Niilo Smeds - Mercilessly
08. Niilo Smeds - Your Brand
09. Niilo Smeds - Unknown Animal
10. Niilo Smeds - Chimera
11. Niilo Smeds - Wrong Elixir
12. Niilo Smeds - Show Some Respect
13. Niilo Smeds - Toward a More Thorough Rejection



(and many other fine digital retailers)


"Niilo Smeds’ vision of America isn’t the cheeriest, but it sure is true to life. Once You Were A Baby brings up failed dreams, betrayal, manipulation – a “land of bad memories.” Smeds’ brand of americana incorporates post-rock/neo-classical elements (a la Rachel’s or Friends of Dean Martinez) with surrealistic lyricism that goes perfectly with the washed out scene on the cover like black coffee and cherry pie. “Morning comes like a lava flow,” “the taste of autumn on your tongue will tell you that you can’t crush the world overnight,” “you serve the guest from your mother’s breast,” and so on. The America you’ll envision on here involves a trashed house after a rambunctious party to cap off a hectic work week, complete with brown bottles and beer cans blanketing the floor with some passed out attendees every which way. With the smell of alcohol saturating the air, you’ll step outside to rock on a chair on the porch while you look at the downpour in total darkness with a background of amber-colored streetlights and trees." - Sly Vinyl

"(A) lo-fi, country-like album of finger-plucked ballads and haunting instrumentals that are definitely worth your time." - 3hive

"Even if what he tells is not far from a slow burn, there is a patience in what he composes and sings, in the delivery of what he imagines, in the concentration of his energy on the Everything and nothing, which makes one think of the continuation of the world, beyond missiles and fears." - Le Devoir (translated from French)

Gold Robot Project(s)

Niilo Smeds

Open Channel LP


Niilo Smeds

Unknown Animal


Niilo Smeds

Marker of Days


Dim Peaks

Time of Joy


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