Simeon Ross is a prolific Toronto based musician who has an impressive discography. He released more than ten albums with various bands. His latest is entitled Westmount.
I was reading about his influences. Ross says he was influenced by post-punk bands from the ’80s, The Tallest Man On Earth, Phoebe Bridges and more. I have to admit I was surprised how pop oriented some of the songs on this EP sounded based on his influences. That being said there is a hybrid he creates and I thoroughly enjoyed his music.
The EP starts with “Arise” and blends guitar, bass drums and fairly prominent pads. At the center of the song are his vocals. He sounds confident and hopeful but his lyrics are yearning for someone and a family, and are heartbreaking. The chorus is undeniably catchy and memorable. I would say the same thing goes for the verse.
Up next is “All For You” which contains some very pretty guitar patterns. The song is melancholy and hopeful. There is another great chorus. It actually reminded me of one of my favorite bands - Pulp. The romantic quality was sincere and well done.
The title track “Westmount” felt like the most pop-oriented track. There is no denying the chorus has a radio ready quality to it. My personal preference leans towards a song like “Red Lights.” The verse was actually the thing that really stuck with me on this song. His vocals sounded especially good on the verse and I always appreciate a good bass and drum breakdown.
My favorite track was “Under The Gun.” The song is flashy, funky and contains horns. His vocals seem to get to a different level here. I loved it. “Solar Flares' ' successfully went back into territory more similar to “All For You.” He closes with the “Lowlands” which contains a wicked groove and was another highlight to my ears. The vocals reminded me of Bowie when he was singing with the subtle atmosphere in the song.
There is a clear juxtaposition with these songs. The music is often hopeful and full of bright choruses. If you listen to the lyrics they deal with loss, doubt, heartbreak. There are plenty of moments where he doesn't seem to know when and where salvation will arrive. That dichotomy is one of the reasons it can be so powerful. Take a listen.
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