In a modern world of disposable digital content and short-life singles/EP’s, Bayside blues/folk singer-songwriter Simon Imrei is paying homage to the days of cassette tapes and old vinyl 78’s with a special two-part, ‘two-sided’ album, The Sum of Scenes, which he’ll be launching Friday June 15th at Chapel Off Chapel in Prahran.
The two-disc album, both in concept and style, is a combination of two distinct approaches to many of life’s situations, pairing the upbeat, rhythmic and catchy positivity of Part 1 – The Light, with moody, acoustic and stripped back folk in Part 2 – The Shade. The result is the culmination of “scenes” from Simon’s life in the years since his 2012 debut album Branching Inward. Simon has already released two singles off the album, Let Go (off ‘Part 1’) and The Winter (off ‘Part 2’).
Recorded both at Salt Studios and The Aviary Recording Studio, The Sum of Scenes showcases a diversity of songwriting as well as many of Melbourne’s world-class musicians including Ben Franz (The Waifs), Gretta Ray, Josh Bridges (Mustered Courage), Brooke Russell, & more.
Having grown up on the Mornington Peninsula, Simon spent his childhood riding in the back of cars along tree-lined roads and through quiet towns listening to the catchy choruses and the pop sensibility of 80s/90s radio. At home, it was his parents’ record collection which paired the storytelling songs of Paul Simon and James Taylor with the bluesy guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix and Santana. It wasn’t until after a family Christmas watching his uncle play Buddy Rich rudiments on his drumkit, that Simon discovered his love for rhythm. This underlying aspect of movement and groove has underpinned his guitar playing and songwriting ever since.
“I’ve always gravitated towards great melodies and hooks, but over the last few years I’ve really rekindled my love of storytelling and folk/alt-country music,” Simon says. “When I was preparing the album, it felt more and more like I was documenting two parts of my own personality. I just couldn’t figure out how to distill it down onto one album. Then, one day I was down at my parents’ place listening to ‘Harvest’ by Neil Young on their record player and as I turned the record over and ‘Old Man’ started playing I thought, “why not a two-part album?” The rest came together quickly after that.”
More tour dates TBA. Check www.simonimrei.com for up to date details.