An Atlas to Follow
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An Atlas to Follow

Knoxville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sing Me Sweet Artist: An Atlas to Follow"

Hi folks!

As I mentioned earlier today in my most recent post, I have a new interview for you with the band, An Atlas to Follow. I adore this band and now even more so after I had the pleasure of hearing more about their journey and their music. They are a folk band that has such heartfelt music with beautiful melodies. I’m not even going to bother to keep talking…just check out my interview with them below. :)

UG: Who are your band members (please include any instruments and vocals)?

An Atlas to Follow (AATF):
Thomas Smith – Lead singer, guitar, mandolin, banjo, violin
Zac Smith – BGV’s, percussion, cello
Amanda Kinney – BGV’s, guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele
Josh Jones – BGV’s, bass, percussion

UG: When did you form your band and what inspired you make music together?

AATF: The guys started playing back in 2009 after I (Thomas) met Josh in college under the name Suite C. Zac (my brother) and I had done a few things off and on together before then but once we added Josh we began a more full band approach to the music.

Amanda joined us in the fall of 2010. Amanda and I met in the fall of 2009 at a study abroad music program called the Contemporary Music Center. While at the program, we played in each other’s “bands” for the semester and sang BGV’s (background vocals) for each other.

UG: What musicians inspire you?

Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie)
Jon Foreman
Gregory Alan Isakov
Preston Lovinggood (of Wild Sweet Orange)
The Avett Brothers
The Decemberists

UG: Is your new EP your first production album together? What is your EP about?

AATF: “Golden Sun” is our first project as a four piece under the name, An Atlas to Follow. We released an ep in 2010 when we were Suite C called “Do you believe me now?”

“Golden Sun” has a lot to do with unrequited love, or rather, unrequited feelings, with the two bright spots on the EP being Call this Home and the title track.

Louisiana was born from the frustration of still carrying around the weight of regrets and remorse from a failed relationship. Really it wasn’t a relationship at all; I was just very emotionally involved. The song does it’s best to say without saying that I was tired. Tired of having her in the back of my head every other day. Tired of not being able to move forward due to the delusional hope that something where I was might change for the better.

Be Kind to Boston, If Only You Knew and Too Late to Say I Love You all come from the same situation where I had some very strong feelings toward a certain someone but knew that they weren’t shared. If you listen to them in the order listed earlier you can see the thematic arc of the “situation”: from hope to desire to desperation to loss. It all worked out in the end though, she changed her mind… and that album is in the works :)

Golden Sun and Call this home were written as more from a hopeful perspective rather than a reflective one. I wrote these while not in a relationship, making an attempt to express some of what my hopes and desires were. In a way, I guess they kind of lent themselves to the line in Louisiana that says “I’ll keep writing love songs just to feel like I’m in love”

UG: How would you describe your music to others?

AATF: Within the subgenres of folk we’ve had quite a time trying to pinpoint exactly where we lie, but most often we’ll stick with singer/songwriter, indie folk, modern folk.

UG: Do you prefer cupcakes or cookies? =)

AATF: Cupcakes ;)

Huge thanks to An Atlas to Follow for this awesome insight on their band and music. It’s such a beautiful record and I absolutely love the descriptions Thomas gave me of the songs.

Check out some of my favorite tracks from their EP, “Golden Sun” – I hope you all enjoy! - The Unconventional Geek

"Daily Discovery: An Atlas to Follow"

Daily Discovery is presented by The Pub Deal. Win a $20,000 Publishing Contract from Secret Road Music Publishing, deadline April 2014.

ARTIST: An Atlas to Follow

SONG: If Only You Knew


HOMETOWN: Birmingham


AMBITIONS: To create a situation in which I can write and perform music for a living.

TURN-OFFS: Small talk

TURN-ONS: A well-performed show.

DREAM GIG: I’ve always wanted to write the score for a movie – in a sort of Sondre Lerche for Dan in Real Life kind of way.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Brother’s On A Hotel Bed” by Death Cab For Cutie – it has lyrically inspired several of my songs.

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: My best friend Josh Jones is never satisfied with sitting still… in a good way. He once convinced a group of us that it was a good idea to jump into a freezing river in January. We had trouble getting to the ledge from where we jumped because of all of the ice covering the rocks. You’ll almost always get a story hanging out with Josh.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “For Emma,” by Bon Iver

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Gregory Alan Isakov, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jon Foreman, C. S. Lewis and Nathan Johnson.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Gregory Alan Isakov at The Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN.

I WROTE THIS SONG: This song was created as an anonymous note to my now wife before we were dating. I hadn’t worked up the courage to ask her out so I wrote a song and had her sing it with me about a thousand times before I ever told her it was about her. Subliminal messaging, my friend. - American Songwriter Magazine


Golden Sun - EP



An Atlas to Follow (whose members live in both Alabama and Tennessee) secured a top spot in the iTunes Singer-Songwriter Best of List for 2012 with their EP, Golden Sun. Lead track “Be Kind to Boston” was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. The songs exude indie-folk mandolins, guitars and banjos along with charmingly love struck and bittersweet lyrics and brilliantly arranged harmonies. The EP is anchored by a cajon instead of a drum kit, credited as one of the major distinguishers of the band’s organic sound. The pacing of the album keeps the listener engaged with quick-witted musical breakdowns to pensive instrumental passive matched with even more thought-provoking lyrics.         

An Atlas to Follow is currently working on their follow-up EP, Silver Moon. Keep an eye on the sky for flashes of brilliance from this exciting new band.

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Band Members