Posts Tagged ‘Sid Simons’

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Girl Skin are a Brooklyn-based indie-rock band, led by singer/songwriter Sid Simons. They combine aspects of fragile folk and delicate art rock to create ethereal chamber-pop songs that are unafraid to wear their vulnerable hearts on their sleeve.

This six-piece based in Brooklyn known as GIRL SKIN has a much softer approach to music-making. Their latest single, “Forever & Always,” comes to us from the band’s debut album, Shade is On the Other Side, which will be available on April 17th through Jullian Records. At the helm of this endeavor sits singer-songwriter Sid Simons who wrote and recorded the album at his Brooklyn home with the help of his musical entourage. “Forever & Always” starts and ends with a simple indie-folk sound, but between those two points, the song swells and assumes different forms, sometimes achieving orchestral proportions. The love song sentiment is strong in “Forever & Always” and it definitely pulls on the heartstrings… even on a grumpy old writer like myself. This song has the power to lift spirits to the lofty heights of new love. Check out Girl Skin below


Brooklyn-based indie-folk band Girl Skin have just released the latest single from their debut album, ‘Shade is on the Other side’.  Front-man, Sid Simons says of new song ‘Soft Gun’: “I was in my living room one day working on a song that wasn’t really going anywhere and my brother and his soon to be ex-girlfriend were upstairs arguing. They were arguing loud enough that I could hear almost every word, so I started writing down some of the things they were saying to each other and then began singing the lines I wrote down. By the time the argument was over and my brother had come downstairs, I had a song.”  Well, that’s how to write a song.  It’s warmly textured, summery fuzzy-folk, complete with dreamy, drifting vocals.

Band Members:
Sid Simons,
Sophie Cozine,
Stan Simons,
Ruby Wang,
Noah Boling,
Wyatt Mones,

When a band releases their third album five months after their second, you’re probably foolish if you’re expecting a significant amount of audible growth. But what do you know? Beechwood sound like a stronger and more energetic band on Inside the Flesh Hotel, which arrived in June 2018, hot on the heels of Songs from the Land of Nod, which came out in January of this same year.

Songs from the Land of Nod was fittingly titled, as the performances had a certain sleepy quality even when the band was rocking hard, but while vocalist Gordon Lawrence hasn’t abandoned the whispery mumble that dominated the previous LP, this band sounds tighter, more committed, and more forceful their third time at bat. Inside the Flesh Hotel has just enough sloppiness to suit this band’s garage-psych persona, but the pop-leaning growl of “Boy Before,” the clean-lined and wistful “Amy,” the brazen but effective Stooges cop of “Nero,” and the fuzzy peal of the guitars in “Over on Everyone” give the impression Beechwood have put more care into their music this time out.

Lawrence’s guitar work is more precise without seeming mannered, and bassist Sid Simons and drummer Isa Tineo keep the songs in line and moving forward with style and just the right amount of muscle. And while these guys generally seem to be too busy exploring inner space to fret much about politics, “Bigot in My Bedroom” is a witty but pointed attack on an unnamed leader who is making Lawrence and his bandmates want to flee the country. Inside the Flesh Hotel isn’t a quantum leap into greatness for Beechwood, but on every level it genuinely improves on Songs from the Land of Nod and makes a better case for their talents. Imagine how much better they might sound if they wait eight months to release album number four!

With the recently released “Songs From the Land of Nod” garnering enthusiastic reviews across the board, Their sound is a classic, hot and sweaty, raw and nasty, rock and roll spirit, that commands the room with a real classic NYC sound Beechwood delivers the follow up, ”Inside The Flesh Hotel”. From two-minute pop perfection, to the sound of drug-induced nightmare psychoses, the trio’s music hits you where it hurts. Gordon Lawrence(guitar/vox), Isa Tineo (drums/vox) and Sid Simons (bass/vox) are drawing their rock n’roll line in the dirt, which side are you on?

“Inside The Flesh Hotel” is out June 8th

“Inside The Flesh Hotel” is out June 8th

Oozing with edgy cut-throat energy and cool, sleazy grace. – IT STARTS WITH A BRIMSTONE,

Authentic rock ‘n’ roll! – POWER OF POP

Brings the late ’60s into the ’00s. – GRUNGECAKE

A darkly shimmering rock ’n’ roll record of bruising timelessness. – THE VILLAGE VOICE

Recalls the best moments of the Zombies and Beach Boys. – POPMATTERS

Piece together the best of rock throughout the ages. – BUFFALO BLOG

Beechwood held an album release for their debut LP, Songs From the Land of Nod” (Alive/Naturalsound Records), a darkly shimmering rock ’n’ roll record of bruising timelessness.  The allure of Beechwood’s powerful onstage rock star insouciance which is only somewhat less pronounced offstage can come across as slightly studied, an assertion the band contests, bolstering the denial with tales of their shambolic misspent youths. But at least they’re studying the right bands. the trio share teen tales of skateboarding over the George Washington Bridge to see bands in Manhattan; then, a few years later, being escorted out of Arlene’s Grocery during one of their own gigs (“We started rolling around, and things got knocked over, broken. We were just younger. Honest aggression.

We’re more composed now”) and various other angst- and substance-fueled shenanigans. The band’s Gordon Lawrence, 24, looking not unlike a young Thurston Moore, hair covered by a plaid cap, Drummer/vocalist Isa Tineo, 25, a dark beanie obscuring his head/face tattoos, perches on a stool. His visual counterpoint is Beechwood’s newest, member Sid Simons, 21. The bassist’s blonde shag hair is straight off a Sweet album cover, and his faint Australian accent and easy demeanor make him an effective foil for his more formidable-seeming Jersey-bred bandmates.

While Beechwood exude an honest cool that can’t be bought, any hipster factor is shattered when Tineo leans into the tape recorder and shouts: “We’re going to take over the fucking world!”

If the heady, garage-y, spooky compositions on Songs From the Land of Nod are any indication, Tineo could be right. Of the provocative title (the song “Land of Nod” closes the record) Lawrence explains, “There are biblical, childhood, and drug references. There was a two-year period that led up to that album. I went through a lot of stuff, physically, emotionally.”

“I put myself through something that I’m through now. But at the time…the biblical reference, East of Eden…” he says haltingly. “I could see what Eden was and where I wanted to be, but I felt I was constantly outside the gate looking in. I felt that way, honestly, my whole life. Outside. Trying to get in and not knowing how. Eden was being happy. Being OK. Not waking up every morning and wanting to die. Or not waking up at all. Not being able to fall asleep.”

The lanky singer, polite and soft-spoken, declines to elaborate on his issues, but the hazy melancholy and changing tempos of “C/F” — referring to the guitar chords — was one written from the depths. (On the lighter side is a more jaunty entry, Beechwood’s most popular song on Spotify, the two-minute pop-dream “Heroin Honey” written and sung by Tineo, which, he clarifies, is “about a girl, not drugs!”).

Beechwood seem to possess the rock ’n’ roll knowledge of their combined ages, . They easily cite Brian Eno, Jim Carroll, and other darkly creative underground icons. Names are not dropped, but leak out. Actor (Last Days, Boardwalk Empire)/musician Michael Pitt insisted on directing the band’s surf-guitar-ish rave-up “I Don’t Wanna Be the One You Love” video after catching a Beechwood soundcheck at a small Brooklyn club. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong met the group at Armstrong’s own party, and he asked to hear some Beechwood music.

Beechwood began, as the best do: in the basement, and for all members, with a strong paternal influence. “My dad was a painter. He hung out, on the outskirts, with Steve Albini and Urge Overkill in Chicago,” begins Lawrence, who named the band after the street he grew up on. “We went to see Elliott Smith, the Stones, when I was a little kid. When I got a guitar, instead of lessons, he gave me the first Ramones record. From there, I found out about the Stooges and bands like that. He introduced me and took a step back and let me figure out shit. I was ten years old and going to see Gang of Four.”

Simons, who has been in the band now about two years and was not on Songs From the Land of Nod, credits his dad (stage name Mike Lezbian), the singer for the Scavengers “the first punk band from New Zealand” — for starting him off on the musical good foot.

Tineo’s father was an influence on his son — and countless others. “My dad (JuJu Gigante aka Jerry Tineo) played a really important part in music, in hip-hop. In the early ’90s he was a drummer in a famous group called Beatnuts. They were iconic. My dad started traveling with that group when he was 19, 20 and hasn’t stopped. He’s played every genre of music, I grew up with it all .

“I just knew what I liked and what I didn’t,” says Tineo. “But rock ’n’ roll specifically was the first genre of music that found me. I’m Dominican. Gordon grew up with rock, but rock found me. The shit hit me like a ten-ton truck. It fit my lifestyle, the way I wanted to live my life.” Tineo’s dad taught him beats, but the drum set “didn’t speak to me until rock. My dad also bought me a guitar, which I didn’t end up learning until years later.”

Beechwood’s founders “learned to play, more or less, with each other,” says Lawrence. “Isa and I met through mutual friends who all skated together. We’d all meet up at some local skatepark for the day and then hang out afterwards, try to find someone over 21 or with a fake ID to buy us some 40-ouncers from the bodega, and then go out looking for some party or whatever at night.” The pair’s first recorded endeavor, Trash Glamour (2014), was cut in Lawrence’s parent’s basement. “In my head, it was Exile on Main Street, but we were in a basement. It sounds awful,” Lawrence confesses.

Tineo says. I should have been born when the Ramones were around. And Beechwood he’d never even seen us  You, know, you wouldn’t have been the Ramones, or you wouldn’t be as great as you are now, because there’s only you, only one of you, one of your band. Only you can do what you’re doing now.’ ”

Indeed, their septuagenarian fore-musicians are revered but not imitated. Live, Lawrence and Tineo switch instruments; they all write songs. Rife with prolific creativity, youth, and constant change, a next record, Inside the Flesh Hotel, is in the can and will be out this summer. It aurally showcases a happier headspace for the Lawrence, and marks Simons’s writing and recording debut.

There’s one cover song on Songs From the Land of Nod, and it’s lyrically telling. The Kinks gem “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” resonates as much musically as it does lyrically for the band: “I don’t want to live my life like everybody else / And I won’t say that I feel fine like everybody else / ’Cause I’m not like everybody else.” Production on Land of Nod comes courtesy of Lawrence’s uncle in Chicago, who has a “Brian Jones/Brian Wilson vibe” that’s evident in the album’s intricate, creative layers, and the scary-beautiful intensity of dark, driving songs like “This Time Around.”

Reasonably apt comparisons to bands like Suicide and the Velvet Underground pepper Beechwood’s press kit. Those references, Lawrence points out, often come from older journalists. “When people listen to something, they want to put it in a certain context that makes sense to them. You experience through the filter of your past, a reference point,” he notes. “We’re not doing anything new, not starting some new genre. We’re just playing rock ’n’ roll music the best that we can. The guys writing these articles grew up going to the Ramones. When they listen to us, it’s a compliment, knowing that the same energy they felt as a kid going to see those bands is what they’re feeling when they see us.”