Inspired by a vast variety of artists, from Brian Wilson to Stevie Wonder, singer/songwriter/pianist Matt Simons pushes himself to grow beyond those influences to find his own voice and create his own sound. Often compared to Jamie Cullum, John Mayer and Adam Levine, Simons also infuses his piano based pop-rock with hints of jazz and R&B.
Much of 2011 was spent on tour. In addition to visiting most of the US, he ventured to the UK, Netherlands and Germany in support of his 2010 release, the EP Living Proof. 2012 sees the release of his follow up album, Pieces, dropping 6/19.
Pieces is a collection of melancholic yet uplifting songs mixed with the modern, yet timeless production of Nashville engineer/producer Stephen Gause. From the first chord struck on the keys of opener “Emotionally Involved,” the listeners are drawn into Simons' world, led by his melodic turns and the driving intensity of the drums. Next, the lead single “Gone” lets his soulful side shine as Simons paints a picture of a man in a failing relationship, struggling to hold on as he’s realizing he needs to let go. “I’m so tired of being wrong, I’m gone.” The net is abuzz with praise for the song, which was released on March 20th and is currently streaming on mattsimonsmusic.com.
The album continues to demonstrate Simons’ abilities as a musician and a writer as he seamlessly shifts gears between songs. With the sweet “Miss You More,” his vocals soar into a lighter, higher range reminiscent of a ballad by artists such as Ben Folds or The Beatles. The one non-original on the album is a cover and re-working of Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” Simons’ piano replaces the original’s acoustic guitar, as various mellotron parts creep in to flesh out the sound, resulting in a hauntingly beautiful interpretation.
With its catchy melodies and relatable themes, Pieces maintains an inventive sound while appealing to a wide range of audiences. It's sure to become one of summer’s hottest releases.
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