b. Eccles, Manchester, England. This off-kilter UK singer-songwriter began recording his sparse yet strangely engaging guitar-based electronica on simple four-track equipment while still at university. His demo was heard by UK indie Twisted Nerve Records in early 2003, with the label’s founders Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy and Andy Votel recognising a kindred spirit. After many unanswered e-mails to Smith they finally got hold of their man and after listening to around 20 songs he was signed to the label. He then played them another 70 songs and within a few months the first of two mini-albums was released, At Home With Aidan Smith and At Home With Aidan Smith 2. Song titles such as ‘The Nitwit Jive’ and ‘Jellyfish Song’ illustrated the surreal nature of Smith’s muse, but on the second or third listen the artistry behind his songwriting began to shine through. Both mini-albums received critical plaudits from the mainstream UK press. Smith completed live dates in support of Badly Drawn Boy, I Am Kloot, and the Thrills, while completing work on his full-length debut album.