Team-Love is excited to announce the release of the debut solo album from upstate New York-based Simone Felice on April 3, 2012. The self-titled record by the former member of The Felice Brothers and the creator of The Duke & The King, was largely self-produced and recorded in deeply resonant places — a barn near his home in the woods, an old church in London, an abandoned high school building by the Hudson River. What he created in these hushed, hallowed places is music that could be called folk, but that has running through it a ghostly gospel-like feel, something otherworldly. Occasionally helping Felice realize his vision were Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, The Felice Brothers and even the members of a local girl’s choir called the Catskill High School Treblaires.
The media’s response to Felice over the years has been effusive in its accolades. Esquire claimed that he “wrote the most heart-wrenching ballad of 2009,” while the BBC hailed, “Dylan and Leonard Cohen are brought to mind, such is the depth of emotion wrought by Felice’s careful approach…Shows the power of music to lift your spirits and make your heart full – absolutely fantastic.” The Telegraph in the UK noted, “There is a boldness to Simone’s writing, the fierceness and fearlessness of complete honesty that pushes into places that simply take the breath away…some of his songs are so perfectly formed they sound like they might have been around forever… the best I have heard in a while, touching the hem of Dylan by way of Gordon Lightfoot…These songs are good enough to be sung by the whole world.”
Felice has long been a storyteller, writing prose and poetry as well as songs, and he has a truly remarkable story of his own to tell. In fact, Britain’s esteemed Guardian newspaper commissioned Felice to write a memoir about his young life and the health travails that culminated in his 2010 surgery. Born in 1976, Felice was raised in the Catskill Mountains, in the shadow of Woodstock, the same area where Bob Dylan famously retreated to workshop with the Band after his mysterious motorcycle accident. As Simone, whose gaunt looks balance the sensitive and the rough-hewn, declares: “I was born in the woods, with a drop of Indian blood. As a boy, I swore I saw a Mohican ghost among the birch trees. Or maybe it was just the acid.”
When he was 12 years old, Simone suffered a brain aneurysm and was pronounced clinically dead for several minutes. Following emergency neurosurgery, doctors warned his family that there was a good chance he would not survive. If he did make it, his motor faculties might be seriously impaired. Not only did he recover, but the young Felice began to apply himself to his creative endeavors with an urgency that only those who have looked death in the face can exhibit.
Now, when you sit in a room with Felice, you can hear a subtle metallic ticking noise. If you hunt for the source of the sound you’ll find a scar bisecting the entire length of his chest, a visceral reminder of the open-heart surgery he was forced to undergo in the summer of 2010 after a childhood congenital defect brought him to the brink of death.
Simone Felice is strikingly simple in its arrangements while extravagant in its emotional impact. Each track is rife with intricate imagery and captivating storytelling, not surprisingly, as Simone is an acclaimed wordsmith, published poet and novelist. With Simone Felice, he steps into the spotlight to begin his journey as a lone artist, bearing the fruits of a lifetime of songwriting.
The album is available for pre-order now via the Team-Love website and comes in two unique packages both including instant downloads of the album’s opening track”Hey Bobby Ray,”a stunning choral track featuring The Felice Brothers and the Catskill High School Trebleaires.
The album’s tracklisting is below:
1. Hey Bobby Ray
2. You & I Belong
3. New York Times
4. Courtney Love
5. Stormy-Eyed Sarah
7. Dawn Brady’s Song
8. Gimme All You Got
9. Sharon Tate
10. Splendor in the Grass
To celebrate the release of Simone Felice, Felice will be appearing at the New York City’s Mercury Lounge at 7pm on March 28, 2012, accompanied this one night by very special guests, as well as his core band, the hauntingly harmonious Simone Felice Group.