Tag Archives: Sylvie Simmons

New Sylvie Simmons video: The Thing They Don’t Tell You About Girls

Video: Sylvie Simmons – “The Thing They Don’t Tell You About Girls”

Sylvie Simmons: "The Thing They Don't Tell You About Girls"

Video by Ryan Sarnowski. From Blue on Blue, out now on Compass.

Sylvie Simmons is a writer for Mojo and author of the definitive biography of Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Man (Harper Collins, 2012) and recently helped Debbie Harry write her memoir, Face It (Dey Street, 2019). She also plays the ukulele and writes gentle little songs that might sneak up on you and break your heart.

A few years ago her song “Hard Act to Follow,” originally released on her self-title debut (Light in the Attic, 2014), was featured in a Nicky Hornby movie. Which makes sense. Another author who is obsessed with music…

She told Pop Matters, “You shouldn’t make an album if you’re a music journalist and don’t use ukulele to do it. I was expecting to be quite humiliated, and it was quite the opposite. It was an absolute wonder to me.”

Now Simmons has released her follow up, Blue On Blue. Once again produced by Howe Gelb, the recording sessions were interrupted by a debilitating accident that ultimately required her to alter her ukulele style. “There were songs that took a lot more movement of my hand than I was able to do. But they’ll be on the next album.”

Simmons describes her new single as “a sad song that came out sounding happy. Songs do that sometimes; they have no respect for the people that write them.”

Sounds like the song turned out just the way it was supposed to!

Sylvie Simmons: web, twitter, bandcampamazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sylvie Simmons video: The Thing They Don’t Tell You About Girls

New Sylvie Simmons video: Hard Act to Follow

Video: Sylvie Simmons – “Hard Act to Follow”

Sylvie Simmons, Hard Act to Follow, from "Juliet, Naked" soundtrack

From Sylvie, released in 2014 on Light In the Attic Records.

Sylvie Simmons is one of my favorite music journalists. I’ve been reading her stuff in Mojo for over a decade. She almost singlehandedly made me despise Lou Reed after reading her 2005 interview with him.

It’s rare for a rock critic to cross over to the other side and make decent music. Have you ever heard any of the songs Lester Bangs recorded? Not great. But “Hard Act to Follow” succeeds because it doesn’t sound like it’s trying too hard. Simple strummed ukulele and direct vocals that sound honest and comforting. This song came out a few years ago but it was just featured in the new Nicky Hornby movie, “Juliet, Naked” so Simmons made a video for it.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a big downtown movie theatre to see a new movie called “Juliet Naked.” It’s a romantic comedy based on a book by Nick Hornby, a former rock critic, directed by Jesse Peretz, a former rock musician (remember the Lemonheads?) and featuring a soundtrack that includes songs by Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Robyn Hitchcock, M.Ward… and me!

I sat watching the movie and listening hard, because I didn’t know what scene it was going to be in, but after a while I got into the story and forgot all about my song. Then, during a scene shot in the Tate Modern in London, one of my favourite places in the world, suddenly out of the giant speakers there I was, singing “Hard Act to Follow.” I almost jumped out of my seat.

So to celebrate my song getting its first major movie role, I decided to make it its own little film, working with San Francisco video maker, Carlos Forster.

It’s really good!

Sylvie Simmons: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sylvie Simmons video: Hard Act to Follow