When you sit in a room with Simone Felice you can hear a subtle metallic ticking noise. If you hunt for the source of the sound you’ll find a scar bisecting the entire length of his chest, a visceral reminder of the open-heart surgery he was forced to undergo in the summer of 2010 after a childhood congenital defect brought him to the brink of death. Felice’s heart is his metronome, his divining rod, and the life source of his self-titled solo debut, set for release on 2 April via Reveal Records.
Former drummer, writer and vocalist of Catskill Mountain troubadours The Felice Brothers, and the creator of folk-soul outfit The Duke & The King, Simone Felice steps into the spotlight to begin his journey as a lone artist, bearing the fruits of a lifetime of songwriting. Largely self-produced with help from Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons), the album was recorded in deeply resonant places, settings that were as haunted in their rafters as Felice felt in his bones: a barn near his house in the woods, an old church in London, an abandoned high school building by the Hudson River. What he created in these hushed, hallowed places is music that could be called folk but that has running through it a ghostly gospel-like feel.
The album, entitled Simone Felice, is strikingly simple in its arrangements while extravagant in its emotional impact. Each track is rife with intricate imagery and captivating storytelling, not surprisingly, as Simone is an acclaimed wordsmith, published poet and novelist. As with his prose, Felice conveys his often mournful tales of star-crossed lovers and beautiful losers with remarkable empathy, giving each a deeply personal feeling. Lead single You & I Belong (with friends from Mumford & Sons) finds Felice praising each new morning, an increasingly difficult chore in today’s pixilated world of seven billion distractions.
Simone is charted to travel the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and Ireland with his band of remarkable players, the hauntingly harmonious Simone Felice Group. As well as debuting material from his outstanding new release, Simone be performing many of the classics his devoted followers hold dear from his time with The Felice Brothers and The Duke & The King.