Directed by Fabian Rodriguez, the visual features Smith and Bell jamming on their guitars while lounging around and exploring the sandy beach dunes of Long Island. Lyrically, Bell appeals for understanding, unity and an end to divisiveness: “But you can’t find it in your heart/To change your point of view/You figure you’re above it all/You convince yourself it’s true.”
Smith and Bell will be releasing their debut album together, Stony Hill, on August 28th via BMG. Along with “Let the Sunshine in,” they’ve previewed the LP with their singles “Black Is the Color,” a traditional folk ballad popularized by Nina Simone, and “America,” a politically charged take on democracy.
Separately, the pair are veterans in the music industry. Between 1985 and 1995, Smith served as the musical director at Saturday Night Live and has performed with Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, and Hall and Oates. Bell was part of the soul duo Bell and James (with Casey James) and has worked as a songwriter for a wide array of artists, including Elton John, Teddy Pendergrass, Jennifer Lopez and the Three Degrees. In 2011, his band, LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends, were finalists on the first season of the U.S. version of The X Factor.