Acclaimed singer-songwriter, author and producer, Simone Felice, releases a video for ‘Puppet‘, a single taken from his highly anticipated new album, ‘All The Bright Coins‘.
AUK readers will be aware of the Felice Brothers and their profound impact on Americana music, and Simone Felice was a key contributor to their early success, co-writing some of their most memorable songs. However, in 2009, on the back of some life-changing events, Simone struck out on his own, amicably parting with his brothers to pursue his own career.
Simone Felice has had more than his fair share of trial and tribulations to overcome, including a near-fatal brain aneurysm he suffered as a twelve-year-old, that resulted in him being pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. In 2010, in the midst of a solo European tour, he suffered from a series of blackouts and doctors discovered a childhood congenital disorder that led to emergency open-heart surgery.
For all the enormous hurdles Felice has had to face, he’s also enjoyed considerable success. As well as his career as a highly respected singer/songwriter, he’s published a well-regarded novel, poetry, and short story collections, he’s father to two daughters and remains very close to his siblings, his extended family and the community he grew up in. He’s also been a very successful producer, helping to create best-selling albums for The Lumineers, Jade Bird, Bat For Lashes and others. Having experienced such lows and highs, it’s no surprise that he brings a lot of introspection and weight to the songs he writes. In ‘Puppet‘, he brings that full weight to bear, examining his own life as a performer and the price he’s paid to follow his muse.
“I began writing ‘All The Bright Coins’ in 2019,” says Felice. “It had been several years since I had written anything of my own, as I’d felt called to produce records and write with other artists I love. Then one rainy morning I wrote ‘Puppet,’ a mainly autobiographical tune about the dark, empty, and farcical side of being an underground touring troubadour most of my adult life. Part of me felt as though perhaps this should, and would, be the last Simone Felice song I’d ever put out, ‘Puppet stand, Puppet bow,’ a final curtain call. But then a few months later I wrote ‘Prisoner,’ and then ‘Bare Trees.’ The ‘Heat’ (that’s what myself and a few close friends call it: that sweet, painful, ungovernable whisper) was with me once again…”
The video opens with Felice alone on a beautiful theatre stage, lit in blood-red colour, as he performs theatrically to the empty auditorium. His performance is intercut with footage of traditional shadow-puppets, their performance mimicking his own. It’s simple, but powerful and dark.
Both song and video are beautiful, and as you might expect, exquisitely produced.