Simone Felice (from the album All the Bright Coins on Chrysalis) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Formerly situated at the helm of his siblings’ band The Felice Brothers, Simone Felice moved on to a prolific solo career since leaving his brothers behind. He’s been remarkably productive and proactive; other than the three albums he’s released under his own aegis, he’s also produced a number of high-profile efforts by others —The Lumineers, Bat For Lashes, Jade Bird, Matt Maeson feat. Lana Del Rey, and, of course, The Felice Brothers themselves.
Notably then, his latest outing, All the Bright Coins, is a singularly solitary affair, a combination of recitations and solemn songs of a literary and poetic nature. Felice delves into deep and dark terrain, waxing philosophically on arched concepts and tender topics related to a world gone awry and lives spent on the periphery of earnest engagement.
‘You won’t have to walk alone…You know we’re all just blood and bone…Some days this don’t feel real, Lord knows we all take time to heal’ he intones on “After the Rain”, summing up universal thoughts and feelings most folks have felt in these times of turbulence and trepidation.
Not surprisingly then, All the Bright Coins is a melancholy affair, one rife with sobering sentiments and solemn rumination. “Year Around the Sun”, “Moonlight Promises”, “Puppet”, and “Bare Trees” typify the approach and keep the consistency intact, making for a mostly downcast affair devoid of any upbeat revelry. That said, the evocative “90s” finds Felice reveling in nostalgia, waxing poetically about carefree innocent days when he and his friends’ main preoccupation was ‘smoking shitty grass’, grooving to reggae beats, and rocking out with the Smashing Pumpkins. The idyllic imagery makes for an easy escape, a reflective reminder of days when cares and concerns were secondary to simply living life.
Ultimately, All the Bright Coins isn’t an album that one would tend to take lightly. It’s a provocative piece of work, one that’s well thought out in its overview of unsettled circumstance. The coins may not be as bright as the title implies, but the illumination is well lit regardless. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Simon Felice from Amoeba Records
For more information, please visit the Simone Felice website