Constant Smiles, the collective led by Ben Jones, began in 2009 on his home of Martha’s Vineyard, inspired by the music scene centered around the island’s now defunct community record store, Aboveground Records. They made their live debut as a noise duo opening for Ralph White (Bad Livers) and, working in series, began churning out homemade releases influenced by friends, art film icons, and fellow musicians.
In the time since, Constant Smiles have amassed a discography a couple dozen releases deep, containing contributions from more than 50 members of its extended family. 2019’s synth-based full-length, John Waters, became a surprise hit in the blog world and helped the group to extend its reach. Their 2020 follow-up, Control, appeared on several notable year-end lists and caught the attention of outlets like Austin Town Hall who praised its “natural haunting sensation that seems to emanate from [the] speakers” upon pressing play.
On their Sacred Bones debut, Paragons, Constant Smiles have synthesized the various sounds they’ve explored previously—like shoegaze, dream pop, and psych—into a dazzling new form altogether. Ben Greenberg's production pushes Jones' voice starkly to the front, revealing a subtle seventies singer/songwriter influence in the songs, and resulting in the collective’s most dynamic and best album to date.
Along the way, the group has shared stages with Oneida, Editrix, Frank Hurricane, Olden Yolk, and Purple Pilgrims; their shows are endlessly unique experiences for which Jones has a tendency of writing whole set’s worth of new material.