In mid-2015, Nashville trio SIMO signed to Mascot Label Group and released Let Love Show The Way, their 2nd LP in January of 2016. The album, recorded at the Allman Brothers former residence in Macon, Georgia – debuted at #4 on the Billboard Blues Chart and garnered rave reviews and numerous national and international support from the likes of No Depression, Rolling Stone, Guitar Player; Relix, Guitar World and NPR. The rest of 2016 passed in a blur of headline and festival performances worldwide – with SIMO performing 215 shows in 9 countries – including the UK, Finland, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands and, of course the United States.
Fast forward to July 2017 and SIMO have just announced their next full-length release –RISE & SHINE – which sees the exciting trio widen their sound with slow-smoked soul ballads, Stax-worthy funk rockers, psychedelic desert-rock instrumentals and hard-edged bluesy barn burners.
Impassioned vocals that call to mind Prince or Al Green; Rhythm tracks inspired by the fatback swagger of Isaac Hayes and funky spirit of D’Angelo combined with Lush, highly detailed sonic landscapes reminiscent of Pink Floyd; raw, naked songwriting that lifts the veil for the listener to see all the frailty and ugly parts as well as the beautiful: Rise & Shine makes room for it all, with SIMO looking not to recreate old sounds, but invent new ones. It’s the band’s most expansive album to date — the work of a band at its curious, adventurous peak.
RISE & SHINE is out September 15 on Mascot Label Group’s Provogue imprint.
MORE ABOUT RISE & SHINE
RISE & SHINE began taking shape on the many roads travelled in 2016, with SIMO’s three bandmates — singer, guitarist and namesake frontman JD Simo; drummer Adam Abrashoff; and bassist Elad Shapiro — working on new music along the way, hashing out chord changes in hotel rooms and tweaking song arrangements during soundcheck. It was a time of growth and self-improvement for everyone, and they became better friends, better musicians, and better people.
At the same time, the outside world was changing. Political pundits were screaming at one another. Elections were pitting candidate against candidate, party against party, neighbour against neighbour. The need to write music that truly meant something — music that not only demonstrated the band’s explosive chops, but also sent a clear message — was greater than ever.
“This is an album about change,” says Elad, who joined the band in 2015. “We looked at what’s been happening in our own lives, as well as what’s been happening in the world. Everyone is changing: personally, politically, socially. We’ve seen it. We’ve felt it. And we’re writing about it.”
Rise & Shine introduces the band’s elastic, expanded sound, which blurs the lines between genres and generations throughout the album’s 11 tracks. Let Love Show the Way, was a spot-on salute to the band’s rock & roll influences, full of big amplifiers, vintage vibe, and plenty of volume. Rise & Shine doesn’t ignore those roots, but it pushes toward something new.
Eager to explore uncharted territory, the guys make room for slow-smoked soul ballads (“I Want Love”); psychedelic desert-rock instrumentals (“The Climb”); hard-edged, bluesy barn burners (“Light the Candle”); and Stax-worthy funk rockers (“Meditation”). Gluing everything together is the charisma and chemistry of three musicians who spent more than 300 days together last year, mastering the art not only of nodding to the past, but looking ahead to the future too.