Team-Love is excited to announce the release of the debut solo album from upstate New York-based Simone Felice today, 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 response to the record has been fantastic. The Village Voice said the record is “a rhapsodically chilling dispatch from the Catskills,” while Relix hailed Felice’s “powerful vocals and stunning lyrics,” and said, “Felice is a true writer’s lyricist…slowly the record will tiptoe inside and haunt you.” NPR’s Weekend Edition is airing a feature this Sunday, while in the UK Mojo gave the record four stars out of five. Uncut gave the record an eight out of 10 and awarded it “Best of the Month” status, calling it a “hushed and haunting solo debut,” and Felice’s voice “wonderous.”
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. When he was 12 years old, he 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 endeavours 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.
Tour dates have been confirmed, beginning May 31 in Washington, DC, at The Hamilton, ending June 10 at StageOne in Fairfield, CT. More dates will be confirmed soon. The complete list of confirmed dates is below:
31 Washington, DC The Hamilton
1 Philadelphia, PA The Chapel at First Unitarian Church
2 Freehold, NJ Concerts in the Studio
3 Hunter, NY Mountain Jam Festival
9 Allston, MA Great Scott
10 Fairfield, CT StageOne