There’s a near psychedelic feel to Davie Simmons’ latest single “Halcyon Days”, but it is far closer to art pop than spacey singer/songwriter fare. The arrangement swells around his clear and slightly stentorian delivery, but he has undeniable emotive powers and the writing, in particular the lyrics, is top notch throughout. Guitar laces through the mid-tempo gait of the song without ever overshadowing Simmons’ delivery and has a signature sound quite unlike anything else in modern music. There are no instrumental breaks, per se, but the obvious skill and well placed musical turns help make this a compelling number. The song’s duration of a hair under three minutes is revelatory – it is impressive how Simmons manages to create an entire musical world within a condensed framework and encourages listeners to come back for additional listens.
It is a track that holds up under multiple listens. “Halcyon Days” is a direct musical experience with recognizable drumming, guitar work, and familiar tempos, but there’s under the radar richness in the way these elements tie into the vocal. Simmons has a wide-ranging approach to his singing that remains fresh after multiple listens and loses none of its initial luster. He isn’t someone trafficking in wide-eyed vocal pyrotechnics but has an obvious grounding in musical theater that affords him enormous latitude in how he stretches his phrasing to improbable limits and shifts the vocal stresses with aplomb. Simmons is a clearly experienced vocalist and brings the full scope of his experience to bear in every line of “Halcyon Days”.
The occasional angular guitar lines peppering the arrangement give the song some of its light psychedelic quality without ever sounding odd or out of place – instead, it has a marked difference over much more standard fare and suits the song’s dramatic inclinations well. The drumming has a down to earth quality and maintains the song’s mid-tempo pace with precision and a strong sense of rhythm. Much like the lyrics, there isn’t a wasted note or instrumental line present throughout the entirety of the song and everything falls into place.
Simmons’ lyrics are poetic without ever being obscure. He invokes the imagery of Greek myth but transmutes it through modern language and personal experience in such a way that it illuminates his source material without ever losing listeners. The emotional highs of the lyrical content dovetail into his vocal with nary a hiccup and it results in an unified experience discerning and intelligent listeners are sure to enjoy. “Halcyon Days” isn’t for everyone.
It is, however, an unique and challenging experience with enormous capacity to both move and entertain. The aforementioned theatrical grounding of the song isn’t any sort of obstacle for the audience; instead, it heightens feeling and brings listeners deeper into its artistic world. Davie Simmons succeeds in crafting a song that is a throwback yet curiously modern. Keith Richards once claimed the only art he knew was short for “Arthur”, but no one will feel assaulted by pretense listening to this song. It is a singular experience in every sense.
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