At the beginning of the pandemic, when live music became a distant memory, we started sharing stripped-back exclusive live recordings from talented musicians, maintaining that connection between artists and their audiences. We continue our series of mini-gigs with California-based singer-songwriter Matt Simons. This gifted multi-instrumentalist spent his early life studying classical music and jazz, mastering a range of instruments including piano, clarinet and guitar. Simons shows his versatility here, in this three-song ‘mini-gig’, performing two songs on keys and one on his acoustic guitar.
Firstly, Simons performs ‘Too Much’, which is about the party culture and where we draw the lines about appropriate behaviour, as Simons explains: “I feel it’s a relatable thing for anyone who likes to party. How do you know you’re fulfilled…? And unfortunately, you only know you’ve made it if you’ve gone too far.” As he picks out a staccato rhythm on the keys, Simons’ words and vocals flow, rolling and sweeping through the song. He follows this up with a cover ‘The Boxer’, a beautiful, classic song that will be familiar to many. Both of these songs are taken from Simons’ brand new album, ‘Identity Crisis’, which is out now. Finally, he shares ‘Catch & Release’ from 2016 album of the same name. Throughout, Simons delivers smooth, tuneful vocals, perfect for his brand of pop-folk.
‘Catch & Release’ became a surprise hit, going Gold and Platinum in many countries, and leading to a performance on the TODAY Show and helping Simons to accumulate over one billion streams, an almost unthinkable response to his positive, uplifting music. His sound blends various musical genres as he explains in relation to the new album: “I’m often asked to describe my music, and the answer I like to give is ‘an identity crisis’. This album reflects the wide range of styles I love and am heavily influenced by.”
Simons has come a long way from his humble beginnings, growing up in Palo Alto, where his passion for music was partly inspired by having two opera singers as grandparents. This is another great gig for AUK readers to enjoy from the comfort of home. Check it out.
Reader may also enjoy checking out this performance from the TODAY show from 2016.