After the overwhelming success of Loverboy and the intense promotional tour that followed, Dennen retreated to his mountain house in Northern California and began writing Smoke and Mirrors, finding inspiration in his surroundings and the simplicity of nature. Dennen took the songs to Nashville to record with producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars), eschewing his L.A. comfort zone to work with virtual strangers. Peacock explains, "Brett and I spent a lot of time just building out the arrangements. From the production side, he encouraged me to make every song uniquely its own while keeping it cohesive - and I think we did it. His wonderful music aside, Brett is certainly one of the most whimsical people I've ever produced - a true original." The resulting 10-song set features Dennen's strongest and most cohesive collection to date.
Smoke and Mirrors, Dennen's fifth studio album, is the culmination of his transition from a coffeehouse folk singer to a celebrated and critically acclaimed front man. Standing 6'5" with his trademark, long, red hair, Dennen has been lauded as a break-through success, earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, USA Today and more, with The Washington Post declaring him "a folk rock revelation." He has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, NPR and more.