Davie Simmons – Halcyon Days
Hovering around the three minute mark in length, Davie Simmons’ latest opus “Halcyon Days” continues in the tradition of theatrical pop heard on the earlier “Angel Music Lover” with none of the possibly pseudo-personal touch detectable in the song’s lyrics. This is a much more self conscious exercise in some respects and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Simmons has written a track drawing its inspiration from Greek myth but he imbues it with a level of humanity distancing it from anything smacking of an academic exercise. Instead, “Halcyon Days” has humanity brimming from its tactile texture and Simmons’ rich voice in the song’s center pushes the song into the realm of the sublime. This California based songwriter may be an under the radar talent in some ways, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t possess a formidable vision for his art.
That vision comes through in every aspect of “Halcyon Days”. It takes considerable chutzpah to incorporate Greek myth into modern songwriting and expect audiences to follow along, but it takes even more talent to do so and actually make it work. Simmons’ songwriting takes what is an otherwise obscure subject for most and makes it accessible for any listener. Moreover, he distills the myth into everyday reality and makes it all the more palatable for his audience by relating its symbolism to the vagaries of our lives. It is easy for any thinking and feeling adult listener to draw connections between their own lives and what Simmons depicts with this song.
His vocal style may take some getting used to for a segment of the listening public as it is far removed from your typical pop song delivery. Simmons, however, has unquestioned emotion in every line and a surprisingly elastic voice allowing him to take the lyrics and vocal lines in jarring directions. These directions are jarring in a good way – Simmons possesses a capacity for surprise far outstripping what we hear from modern artists and there are a number of understated turns built into this song, particularly in the vocals, that will catch first time listeners off guard in a pleasant way.
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The guitar playing is exemplary. It doesn’t attempt to dominate the spotlight or hog the lion’s share of the track but rather, like the drumming, provides compelling accompaniment for Simmons’ declarative vocals without ever obscuring them. The drumming varies from light percussive splashes to a more direct style with plenty of snap but, like the guitar work, it is mixed so well that it moves seamlessly in support of the vocals.
The track has a surprising running time of almost three minutes exactly – it is surprising because it feels much more expansive, rather than longer, than many listeners will expect from a “pop” song. The clear lineage of this track connects it to musical theater, again, rather than anything remotely “Top 40” and, as such, it exerts a much different effect on listeners. Davie Simmons’ “Halcyon Days” accomplishes things that sort of music can never hope to match and does so with satisfying artfulness.
Michael Rand The music of DAVIE SIMMONS has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com