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Wednesday, December 31, 2025

About the music


The music contains no instruments- everything you hear was made using only my voice and basic effects/editing techniques. I use pitch-shift to drop my voice down for bass lines, but otherwise there is no pitch correction involved. Each song contains anywhere between 30-50 layers of vocals and take as many hours to complete over several months. I worked on many songs at once as inspiration struck and time allowed.

The goal was to complete the entire catalog of original Smiths songs by the end of 2010. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life and I am thrilled to say that I completed my goal- ahead of schedule! This would have been a daunting project just for the music alone, but I was also fitting the music time in around parenting, working, commuting, etc. It was a true labor of love to give up every ounce of free time for a year but it was the best thing I've ever done. Thank you for visiting my personal tribute to The Smiths and for cheering me on.

-Janice (about me / email)

41 comments:

  1. I found you on twitter, for one reason you follow me. But i got surprised, cause the songs are amazing! I love The Smiths, and im really happy to hear this songs so well done ;)

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  2. Yes! getting my Janice fix today.

    Loyal fan Larry

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  3. Thank you for listening, Simone!

    Hi Larry!

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  4. Can you go a little further into your process of how you do these amazing versions?

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  5. More about the technical process...
    I import the original song into my ProTools recording software and use it as my pitch/tempo reference to sing along with. Once I have a few layers of voice recorded, I turn off the original and start building my version. Each vocal is on a different track so that I can adjust volume, pan, and edit the vocals down to what ever seems right to me. I'm never sure how the song is really going to turn out because I'm constantly building off the previous track.
    The effects I use are primarily reverb, distortion, delay, and pitch shift to expand my vocal range an octave lower. I use a looper to quickly create vocal layers for full choirs and for making drum beats. I also use a Kaoss Pad for some of the more unusual vocal effects. One thing I am against using is pitch correction. If I don't like a vocal, I just re-record it. Plus, it's expensive and sounds robotic. ...and it's cheating.

    I'm not a professional musician, I'm basically learning what I'm capable of as I go. I feel very lucky to have such supportive Smiths fans cheering me on! It's what keeps me going when I don't think I can spend another 8 hour day staring at the pop screen...

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  6. Thanks, that's exactly what I was wondering when I accidentally posted anonymously earlier. You're doing incredible stuff. I'd be interested in hearing any originals once you're done with this gargantuan project. You've definitely created an aesthetic all your own.

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  7. Matt, I'm curious to see what you will think about the first instrumental cover I'll be doing: Draize Train. It should be up in a few weeks. :)

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  8. Wow these are brilliant! Keep up the good work!

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  9. Janice, just checked it out. All I can say is "wow."

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  10. This is excellent and beautiful. You're a genius.

    I'll have to listen to all of them. You've made the songs your own. Totally fresh perspective.
    Thanks

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  11. Nice article in the Guardian here in the UK.

    I have to say that your love of Morrissey and Marr (who is just about my favourite musician in all the world) shines through and illuminates these songs, but you also make them totally your own.

    Great stuff.

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  12. I am feeling very blessed and overwhelmed with love and support today. Thank you to everyone!!

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  13. You are super! Thank you for being awesome and sharing your amazingness. You have made my week!

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  14. This is Fantastic.....hats off to you for your ambition....and also for the wonderful sounds....

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  15. The Smiths are my favorite band of all time, and all I can say is that every rendition of every single song you've recorded gives me absolute CHILLS out of how excellent they are, it's like hearing them for the first time again. This will make people like The Smiths who did not previously like them, for certain. I cannot even explain my admiration for your ambition and dedication to this project, which is not only impressive, but heroic. This deserves a thousand times the attention it's received. I've already downloaded everything you've done so far and I hope all the best and more for you and your child. - AJD

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  16. I've listened to them all Janice. It's pretty hard to sing Smiths songs and take them from a female perspective and you have done very well! I applaud you

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  17. Excellent work Janice. I sincerely hope you complete your project.

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  18. Long time Smith's fan and had to check this out after reading the Guardian article. Wow - seriously impressed.

    Do you have plans to release the entire collection as one huge download i.e. everything you have done? Now off to listen to some more! :-)

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  19. Best of luck with a truly ambitious project. I never thought i'd say this but your version of Please let me get what i want betters the original...looking forward to hearing the final output.

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  20. Brian Ibbott of Coverville just blogged about your project, which is how I found you. I've been listening to you all morning at my desk, and all I can say is: Wow. Absolutely wonderful.

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  21. You are uber cool. Takes me back to the creativity of the time. Keep doing what you're doing - There is a light that never goes out!

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  22. Thank you to "--V" for pointing out the Coverville blog post. I've added it to my page of Smiths Project mentions!

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  23. Hey Janice, I think your song arrangements are fantastic. I'm from Ireland and heard you on the Tom Dunne radio show. You are a really positive person ,just the inspiration I needed that day. Cheers. I will definitely buy the album. :)

    Slán
    Jason

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  24. Absolutely brilliant! I just can't wait until you get to Strangeways which happens to be my alltime favourite...

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  25. What you've produced here are some of the best interpretive/re-arrangements of songs I've heard in a long long time. What you going to do once The Smiths Project finishes Janice?

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  26. I think my next move will be to put out some original music. I love being the Cover Girl but I've had some songs rattling around in my brain for years and it's time for them to come out and play.

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  27. OMG! you've got serious talent! loved all the covers and please come up with a cover for 'i know its over'. can't wait to listen to it. :D

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  28. Your voice is beautiful -- you should definitely try to get some original material out there -- either your own songs or find someone to write them for you. I am a big Smiths fan, and these renditions are fascinating indeed. Well done!

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  29. I don't know the Smiths at all, but now I know you. Thanks.

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  30. Hi, Janice. I'm so glad I found The Smiths Project. I've been a Smiths fan since I was 15 and I think you've nailed the essence of these songs. I first heard your cover of "Reel Around The Fountain" and was truly impressed. Your voice is so tender and angelic - perfect for such a bittersweet and beautiful song. I'd be curious to know if you mixed and mastered these recordings as my band just produced our own record recently, and I think your stuff sounds great. Looking forward to hearing to hearing more!

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  31. Such great music Janice! I've enjoyed chatting with you on Twitter. Much success to you! I'm playing your songs on Blip.fm so I hope you'll find many new listeners that way.

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  32. Scott C Smith recommended I listen to your music, and now I am both glad, yet simultaneously saddened, that he did. The gladness comes from the joy of listening to your singing, since your warm voice rekindles my hope that some goodness exists in this world, but the sadness comes from fears that I may have to duel with Scott one day to win your affection (and if I perish on that day, Scotty, please bring Janice to visit my tomb at least one day a year -- thanks!).
    Anyway, I hope you don't rest on your laurels now that the Smiths songs are completed... if you do all the songs of "The Cure" and "Depeche Mode," then you will have completed the "Hat-Trick of Excellency!" And then maybe New Order and Cocteau Twins... Scott, what other bands am I forgetting?

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  33. The Smiths without Johnny's guitar.....But have just spent 45 mins listening to The Smiths Project on you tube so many Congrats...I have always maintained if you don't 'get' The Smiths you don't really 'get' life.

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  34. This is a truly inspiring idea, well done on such hard work. Don't forget the songs that made you smile and the songs that saved your life :)

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  35. This is so brilliant! Bravo.

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  36. I just discovered you Janice. I've been a massive Smiths fan for a long time though.

    Thank you for doing this. The effort you have put into this is inspiring!

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  37. Thank you to Vincent and Renee for the kind words!
    XO

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  38. The Smiths are like no other band, in that the people just have to get to the essence of them. Think about the books that people write (All Men Have Secrets - which explores the special meaning of EACH song to various fans.) And now your unbelievable and successful efforts to capture the beauty of their music in an such an amazingly creative way. Congratulations and thanks!

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