The new album from Simone Felice, Strangers, is a glorious realisation of raw emotion and crafted songwriting.
As he heads off on a UK tour we catch up with him and chat about the songs that mean the most to him.
Here’s Simone’s top 10:
Lucinda Williams – Fruits of My Labor
This quite Possibly my favorite love song of all time.
Pete Seeger – Turn! Turn! Turn!
Like everything he turned his hand to, like every song he sang, it was for the people, the community. He never gave up on the thought of a better world, he split his own firewood into his 10th decade on earth, and his fire can never be put out, it’s imperishable.
The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
I’ve been times through Waterloo station, and the last word that would come to mind is ‘paradise’, transcend the drudgery and grime of everyday life to something holy.
Townes Van Zandt – To Live Is To Fly
This set the bar for us early on, I can’t think of more perfectly written song, it’s back-road, parking-lot mysticism… ‘I’ll miss the system here, The bottom’s low and the treble’s clear. But it don’t pay to think to much. On things you leave behind’
Sandy Denny – Who Knows Where The Time Goes
Crippling in its haunted beauty, isn’t she our tragic heroine? Our unsung songstress of the mystic beyond.
Violent Femmes – Kiss Off
This was one of my favorites songs when I was a kid in the ’80s. I played my cassette tape till it broke. Recently I rediscovered this diamond in the rough, the raw frenetic magic it weaves is just as intoxicating today, and even more so in a world of computer generated, meticulously button-up pop.
Joni Mitchell – For The Roses
The most honest, behind-the-scenes take on the seductive poison of the music business. Welcome to the machine.
David Bowie – The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
An old friend put this song on a mixed-tape for me a very long time ago. Every time I hear it I’m transported to this strange little village in the mountains, a dream-place, a fable eerily close to my waking world.
Big Star – Thirteen
The recording and arrangement, the harmonies, but most of all the distillation of the lyric strike me dumb. We are all 13 when we close our eyes and listen, awkwardly and painfully in love for the first time.
Carly Simon – You’re So Vain
I remember so vividly driving up the New York State Thruway with my mother in our shitty little black Ford Escort when I was 6, and hearing the line ‘… and then we went up to Saratoga to see the total eclipse of the sun’ feeling like she was singing just to us. Long live soft-hits radio!
Simone Felice’s album Strangers is available here.
He is also on tour. See him at:
- Thursday 10 April – London Bush Hall
- Friday 11 April – Glasgow King Tuts
- Sunday 13 April – Newcastle The Cluny
- Tuesday 15 April – Edinburgh Electric Circus.