Tweet Tweet!

HOME 
REVIEWS
albums
singles/downloads
gigs
demos
NEWS
INTERVIEWS
FREE MP3s
STREAMED MUSIC
MUSIC VIDEOS
FORUM
LINKS
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
SEARCH
Follow SXP on Twitter
- RSS Feed
 
SoundsXP Presents
Next show:

Tba
On Our iPod

Latest Forum Posts
Album Review

Harper Simon
Division Street Play It Again Sam

Article written by Kev W - Mar 29, 2013

61Q26Np-rIL._SL500_AA300__1_.jpg
If you first became aware of the work of Harper Simon with his eponymous 2010 debut album, then you've missed a large part of his career as a session musician and guest player for artists including Yoko One and Carl Perkins. A newbie he was not, and the impressive cast for that record (which included members of the original Nashville A-Team and other legendary guests) was not just down to having a famous father in Paul. He'd earned the respect himself after many years as a noted and accomplished talent. His second album 'Division Street' has toned down the roster of famous friends yet still includes contributions from members of The Strokes, The Attractions and Wilco.

Having such a famous dad is always going to be something of an albatross around your neck, especially when there is a natural vocal similarity, and you would think the influence is always bound to creep in. What's interesting is the way in which it does so. If we look at Simon & Garfunkel we can clearly see their influence on more modern indie and alternative rock bands. You can hear their harmonies in Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads famously covered 'Mrs. Robinson', and it's groups such as this that Harper appears to be channeling here. This is very much an alt-rock album but the sound is updated, it's no 90s throwback. Another close reference is The Flaming Lips' recent return to writing songs instead of constructing sonic experiments. The overriding impression though, is that Harper Simon is his own man making his own music, and this album is a big step up from his first solo outing.

Pick your favourite US alt-rock band and you'll find that Simon can compete with the best of them. 'Veterans Parade' is similar to Grandaddy at their finest, singles 'Bonnie Brae' and ''99' are gorgeous indie numbers, full of melody. The title-track and 'Leaves Of Golden Brown' are incredibly well-crafted and deserve full attention. Turn these songs up loud and listen, don't play them as background music. He roughs things up on the distortion-loaded 'Dixie Cleopatra' and the ace, punky 'Nothing Gets Through'. That lyrical knack runs in the family and can be heard throughout 'Division Street'. Yes there will always be the shadow of a legend hanging over this man's head, (you can hear that in 'Just Like St. Teresa') but his old man will do well to produce an album as invigorating and ear-tinglingly good as this again.



Links:
http://harpersimon.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HarperSimonMusic
http://www.pias.com/uk/

LATEST FEATURES
Remembering the Radio Trent Rock Show
LATEST NEWS
Blitzen Trappen visualise sound of new album
Extended Katsenjamming
Yuck Spit Out New Album Update, Share First Track
Need Replacements For Your Old Vinyl? Alt-Rock Pioneers' Reissues Coming Soon
Music & Booze At Old Spitafields Independent Music Market This Saturday
Micachu and The Shapes New Album Could Be Good... Or Bad
Public Image Ltd.'s New Album Can Only Mean Trouble (And Rants About Plumbers...)
Alive & On Fire: The Dead Weather Announce First Album In Five Years
A Spectre From The Past With Veruca Salt's New LP? Listen In Full!
Ty Segall Stops Flying Solo With Supergroup Featuring Melvins & OFF! Men
LATEST FREE MP3s
Foxtails Brigade "Far Away and Long Ago"
North By North "Pistoletta"
Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen "Nach dem Spiel"
Theatre Royal "The Days Grow Hotter"
Oliver Gottwald "Freunde fürs Leben"
Heart/Dancer "Outro"
Clowwns "Idiot Bouncing"
Double Denim "Wide Open"
Flout "Rainchecks"
The Scenes "City Of White Blankets"

 

© Sounds XP Design by Darren O'Connor and Adam Walker