Simon Flory “Young Giants”

Independent, 2022

An EP that continues Flory’s rich vein of songwriting.

artwork for Simon Flory "Young Giants EP"Simon Flory’s ‘Young Giants’ EP, consisting of five new recordings, sees him continue in a rich vein of song writing; over the last three years he has released the album ‘Radioville’ in 2019, the EP ‘Songs From Paper Thin Lines’ in 2020 and another full length album, ‘Haul These Blues Away’, in 2021. In addition, his short film version of the single from this LP, ‘The More You Talk, The Less I Hear’ was a winner in the ‘best short short’ category at The Lonestar Film Festival last year.

The ‘Young Giants’ EP consists of five songs recorded in his adopted hometown Fort Worth, Texas, once known as The Young Giant of The Prairie. Says Simon of the EP; ‘we all have the potential to become giants in our own right’ and indeed, the opening track ‘Don’t Shake Me Up Lucifer’, a bluegrass-tinged cover of a Roky Erickson song, is all about overcoming struggles to make more of one’s life. It is ‘a song for anytime of upheaval’, with the original citing legislation to curb the rights of working-class people, immigrants and women in Texas. ‘Little Oak Tree’ is a beautiful stripped back roots number about childhood, and the early steps to becoming ‘a giant’, whilst ‘You Never See It Coming’ carries the theme through characters Flory has observed over the years. ‘Okra Blossom’, an ode to his wife and favourite flower, takes time to appreciate the importance of relationships along the journey; “love is volatile, can be bitter, but always has the potential to be as perfect as my favourite flower: the okra blossom.” And the final track, ‘A Poem For Alex’- a tribute to a friend who passed away too soon- is a reflection on someone who was ‘forever young and also a formidable giant’.

Flory says that ‘performing this song at my friend’s memorial was ultimately the reason we got together to record this music’. With Zach Moulton on pedal steel, Andy Rogers on upright bass, mandolin and banjo, Ginny Mac on accordion and piano, and Morris Holdahl on guitar, these close friends with whom he had always dreamed of working provide excellent support to his vocal phrasing, influenced by the likes of Hank Williams and Lou Reed, and his guitar playing that captures the rhythmic tumble of clawhammer banjo and Appalachian fiddle.

Flory’s music is an interesting mix of influences from his childhood; early country, gospel and classic Nashville, and these five songs really showcase the depth of his writing, the variety of his talents and the combined skills of the musicians with whom he works.

8/10
8/10

About GrahamBollands 6 Articles
Proud dad of Jess, Harry and Lucie. Was a headteacher for 17 years and now pleased to share my experiences working as a university tutor training the next generation of primary teachers. Now living the dream in North Devon, doing up a barn, growing vegetables, walking the coastpath, volunteering on a farm alongside young adults with learning difficulties, presenting a weekly radio show, singing in a choir, and whenever possible, listening to great music and going to gigs.

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