Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Simon Taylor is a singer-songwriter who incorporates Latin, rock, pop and folk elements into his sound. His influences include artists like Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg.
Earlier performing with his band ‘Simon Taylor & The Sundowners’, Simon released an 80’s-inspired rock single “Like You Do”, under his own name in 2016. Recording and performing his music solo became Simon’s primary focus from 2018, and in 2021, he released a double-EP “Under The Volcano”, a travel-inspired compilation of Latin-accent songs. Following the EP, a single titled “Bolero Loco” received a 5-star review in NE Volume Magazine.
Simon’s latest EP, “Survival” is a five-track project themed around mental health. The EP begins with its title track, “Survival”, which uses a heavy orchestral sound along with elements from rock. This track feels like hope within chaos. The memorable melody and vocal rhythm make this song really gripping. Towards the end of the song, the groove progresses towards a faster rhythm.
The following track, “Bad Times Are Through”, is in the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Competition, and will be performed live on BBC Radio Newcastle. This song again uses a heavy orchestra along with subtle drums. The song uses a lot of tension in chords and the melody, and the bass line creates a beautiful impact.
“Our Crazy Dream” is the next song in the EP, which uses a dynamically repeating guitar picking pattern along with an orchestra. The song comes with a really peaceful feeling and offers a fantasy with its lyrics. The following track, “Angel of Mercy”, starts with an ambient and crunchy electric guitar, a first for this EP. It is later joined by a subtle orchestral sound, almost similar to the other songs. The drums in this track have a tighter rhythm, primarily focused on the hi-hats. The lyrics talk about the experiences of mental health problems and feels like a cry for help, a search for meaning. The last song on the EP, “Going Home”, starts with a crunchy acoustic guitar pattern and a synth pad. The vocals on this track are quite crunchy as well, with a unique and swingy rhythm and a melancholic melody. The song has feelings of loneliness and a sense of hopelessness, perfectly executed through the beatifully crafted soundscape and incredibly rich composition.
The EP “Survival” featues some well crafted unconventional sounds, and beatiful, heart-touching melodies along with some deep and reflective lyrics which are proof of Simon’s brilliant songwriting. The tracks were mastered by Andy Bell at Blast Recording Studios, and mixed by Simon himself. The sound of the EP gives you a feeling of hope when there’s darkness around. It would be very interesting to witness what other soundscapes Simon further crafts in his musical journey.
Listen to “Survival” on Spotify!
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