Following the release of their brilliant new album Rise & Shine, Nashville trio SIMO have a video for their new single Shine.
Speaking about the track, front man JD explains “Shine is about a dark time in my life. I was in a bad place and needed to find a way out. I can honestly say music saved me. I’m very grateful that music is in my life… everyday I hit my knees and thank God for it.”
Rise & Shine introduces the band’s elastic, expanded sound, which blurs the lines between genres and generations throughout the album’s 11 tracks. SIMO’s previous release, Let Love Show the Way, was a spot-on salute to the band’s rock & roll influences, full of big amplifiers, vintage vibe, and plenty of volume.Rise & Shine doesn’t ignore those roots, but it pushes toward something new. Eager to explore uncharted territory, the guys make room for slow-smoked soul ballads (“I Want Love”); psychedelic desert-rock instrumentals (“The Climb”); hard-edged, bluesy barn burners (“Light the Candle”); and Stax-worthy funk rockers (“Meditation”). Gluing everything together is the charisma and chemistry of three musicians who spent more than 300 days together last year, mastering the art not only of nodding to the past, but looking ahead to the future too.
SIMO began recording Rise & Shine in February 2017, producing the album themselves (with help from engineer Don Bates) in Nashville’s House of Blues Studio D. They moved at their own deliberate pace, taking more than a month to record the album.
They pulled long hours, too, arriving around 3:00 p.m. every day and staying until 6:00 in the morning. “There are certain records that stick out in my mind as sounding like they were made in the middle of the night,” says JD, who remembers recording the song “Be With You” in a single take at 5:15 a.m. “When Frank Sinatra sings “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” to me it sounds like 2:00 am. Bob Dylan’s “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” sounds like 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. There were certain songs of ours that I knew would benefit from that nighttime feel, where you’re up and working while the rest of the world is asleep.”
Impassioned vocals that call to mind Prince or Al Green; Rhythm tracks inspired by the fatback swagger of Isaac Hayes and funky spirit of D’Angelo; Lush, highly detailed sonic landscapes reminiscent of Pink Floyd; Raw, naked songwriting that lifts the veil for the listener to see all the frailty and ugly parts as well as the beautiful: Rise & Shine makes room for it all, with SIMO looking not to recreate old sounds, but invent new ones. It’s the band’s most expansive album to date — the work of a band at its curious, adventurous peak.