Jonathan Simons

Disques Obscura

Through the Walls

[15 SEP 2015] And indeed, “Through the Walls” is a fluid journey of eight songs that take their time establishing a light, ethereal ambiance without being truly minimalistic. The voices are often doubled with different harmonies, giving us the impression that the melodies are flying over music written with gusto. Let's just say, without beating around the bush, that this is a pure jewel of folk. It is impossible to do anything but listen to it as soon as you put the record on the player. This is an album that will have you glued to your couch. I even ended up turning off my WiFi and putting my phone on airplane mode! (Trans. from French) [More]

Kultur Magazin

Through the Walls

[1 DEC 2014] When you think of so called American singer-songwriters titled folk, lyricist, poet, you inevitably think of artists such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. You see the acoustic guitar, some dust from the west, wide open spaces, the contemplation of solitude. That may be a cliche but with every cliche comes a little bit of truth. Jon Simons is probably no exception but is yet so very different. Because Simons doesn’t limit himself to the sound of his guitar, overdubs and other effects make his music very harmonic.  Do Dylan and Cash invite us to dream? Not really. Jon Simons does. (Trans. from German) [More]

Niort Maville

Interview

[26 NOV 2014] With his intimate, poetic songs, Jon Simons’ charisma and talent are difficult to resist. It has been twelve years since the Texas-born singer came out with his second album Seemingly Dreamingly. He promises new opuses for 2015. [More]

Alt Riviera

Concert Review

[21 NOV 2014] Meanwhile, it is with quizzical yet admiring looks that we examine a seemingly endless mound of racks of pedals, that workers have bravely hauled all the way here, connected to folk guitars in support of Texan poet and composer Jon Simons’ sound. Shall we be treated to Wagnerian folk-metal? To shamanic outer-spacey country music? What we actually do hear is quite sober, elegant folk with discreet progressive accents and welcomed major-minor variations, with an English 70s folk aura that is rather pleasing. Nice slides, beautiful arpeggios bring to mind another Californian, Mark Eitzel and his American Music Club, for the often poignant melancholy of his compositions. [More]

Sound Kartell

The Love Troll Video

[18 JUN 2014] One thing is for sure, there is a lot of potential and his music is outstanding. We would be very happy to once see him in a live performance. We should keep Jon Simons in mind, because there is no way around his indie-folk. (Trans. from German) [More]

Indiepoprock.fr

The Love Troll Video

[26 MAY 2014] A folk artist of undeniable sensitivity, adept at overdubs and superimposed vocal harmonies, Jon Simons released two excellently billed albums around the turn of the millennium before suddenly falling off the radar after his second album "Seemingly Dreamingly" (2002). ... In conclusion, there is no doubt that we'll be talking more about this singer-songwriter in the coming months… (Trans. from French by Beccah Frasier) [More]

À découvrir absolument

The Love Troll Video

[21 MAY 2014] A beautiful incarnation in images of Jon Simons's splendid "The Love Troll". Here, the French actress Lucie Aron carries us through a complete palette of emotions for a magnificent clip. (Trans. from French) [More]

The Sunday Experience

The Love Troll Video

[19 MAY 2014] A ghostly toned love note cradled in eerie enchantment and cut to such a frail and fragile framing that it descends and departs in the blink of an eye as though an apparition. Add in the spectral dimpling of a soft psych tongue and the hollowing macabre murmur of shadowy 60’s motifs a la the Autumn Leaves and you have something disturbingly divine that ought to allure the oddfellows casino brigade. [More]

Nothing But Hope and Passion

The Love Troll Video

[12 MAY 2014] The Love Troll, the new music video by American indie folk singer Jon Simons, premieres exclusively on Nothing But Hope and Passion. [More]

Smash Mag

Through the Walls

[27 SEP 2013] If one wants to describe these pieces you inevitably come to a paradox. The songs are usually long-winded … but with an inherently lamentable and concentrated hermeticism. They are enlightening because, lyrically, this album ends on the ocean floor, a place where one could locate this work quite well. Everything moves easily, surging gently up and down, but the diver has a lead weight on his legs making the superficial bustle on the water's surface seem unattainable. (Trans. from German by Rowan Wallace)

Musiczine

Through the Walls

[27 JUN 2013] Remastered and reissued, this mini indie hit, which was quite popular on American college radio, precedes the release of a third album planned for fall 2013. His long-progression folk tracks are delicate and inspired and ultimately monolithic: large and powerful. Nevertheless, you always end up under their spell; the artist's ethereal voice running through melancholic ambience. (Trans. from French by Maude Aubert) [More]

Music in Belgium

Through the Walls

[23 JUN 2013] The singer-songwriter didn't hesitate to compose unconventional pieces: the first track, Soldiers of a Kind, is ten minutes long, like a dream, woven by a quiet guitar and slight reverb, reminiscent of early Pink Floyd or Nick Drake. … This album is unique, a kind of oddity; the "revival folk" genre being relatively underground in 1999, days when electricity reigned over much of music. … Through the Walls is an album for a specific audience; admirers of melancholic singer-guitar player will no doubt appreciate it. (Trans. from French by Maude Aubert) [More]

Benzine Magazine

Through the Walls

[9 JUN 2013] With a clear and beautiful voice, the Texan scores with his guitar picking and finds musical resources to keep a song of nine minutes free of any dull moments (Soldiers of a Kind) and gives a sense of magic to simplicity (Crystal Blue). Few fireworks but precisely placed: a mellotron, doubled vocals, choirs that harmonize, all the while maintaining a musical economy. A good pick for an album with timeless melodies. So much so, that Through the Walls actually dates back to ... 1999. ... The kind of record that could come out in 2025. (Trans. from French by Devin Ross) [More]

Rote Raupe

Through the Walls

[20 MAY 2013] With his 1999 debut album, Jon Simons celebrates his love for Pink Floyd: the harmonious voices and the gentle chords clearly reference 70s psychedelic pioneers and fill the songs with warmth and ease. This newly remastered version captivates with its soft, acoustic sound, emphasizing the light and easy sound of his music. (Trans. from German by Anna Ebert) [More]

Muzzart

Through the Walls

[15 MAY 2013] Jon Simons is about to release his third album, right after the reissue of his first creation, the superb Through the Walls, eight tracks of neat and elegant folk, pleasant but never devoid of character, and crossed here and there by stormy lightning bolts like Soldiers of a Kind, instantly fascinating with equally beautiful singing and guitar play. Through the walls is appreciated as a whole. It would not make sense to single out a particular title, even though the chiaroscuro in "Body down", for example, adds a particular touch to this delightful work, and longer tracks which start softly, rev up nicely but without losing their magnificence (Predator). It reminds us, even in its darker, allegorical moments, of acoustic Alice in Chains, and makes us want to hear more. Waiting therefore for a "real" new essay that would widen the wake of beautifully played and sung folk music, but with a more bold and audacious feel. (Trans. from French by Maude Aubert) [More]

Hooked On Music

Through the Walls

[6 MAY 2013] The re-release of Jon Simons' debut album, Through the Walls, presents itself in a dreamy melancholic tone. Smart and keenly arranged, he offers us guitar, bass, drums and some vibraphone, restrained but yet with a mix of rock and folk accomanying his lyrics. Even though he may have left country and western behind, his songs still breathe the width of a dusty, lost highway (Soldiers of a Kind). He gives his songs time to evolve, to softly unfold themselves. Taking this time yourself while listenig you get rewarded with a relaxing, and at the same time, inspiring acoustical experience. His soon to be released third album is sure not to be missed if your into some good and ambitious singer-songwriter music. (Trans. from German by Anna Ebert) [More]

Alternativ Musik

Through the Walls

[5 MAY 2013] Music to sit back, reflect, let your soul sway, and enjoy. … At times you go to psychedelic heights, sometimes melancholia, but always with Simons' empathetic voice that seems to hover over all of the songs. Especially in the song Predator, the album is almost sacred. (Trans. from German) [More]

Sound & Image

Through the Walls

[29 APR 2013] Everything comes across very introverted; rich sounds of dreamy longing playing with time but also perhaps a little soporific. Still, If you like gentle songwriting and a few rounds of looking for relaxation, this is the place. (Trans. from German) [More]

Bring Me Up

Seemingly Dreamingly

[1 JUL 2007] Simons is all about releasing and starting anew. His music is meant to show you a new window in your, perhaps somber, room. If anything, he definitely aspires to personally connect with his listeners.

Indieworkshop.com

Seemingly Dreamingly

[2 JUN 2003] Singer/Songwriter Jon Simons' aptly titled sophomore album, Seemingly Dreamingly, seeps with a power that simultaneously lulls and awakens the senses. It's an album of patience and simplicity, yet its purpose is to expand the mind. The subdued melodies and thought provoking lyrics result in an atypical album that is more than meets the ears. [More]

Chris Riemenschneider (Star Tribune, Minneapolis)

Seemingly Dreamingly

[5 FEB 2003] With Spoon bassist Josh Zarbo and various string arrangements providing a fine gray-day backdrop, Simons offers a seamless collection of brooding, Church-meets-Nick Drake melodies and boyish-wonder lyrics. Just when you feel he's stuck in depressed mode ("I learned to fly when I was 5, I lost the skill at 22"), the songwriter pulls out life-affirming lines like this: "Turned off the news today/Turned off my fears to say everything's OK."

2 Walls Webzine

Seemingly Dreamingly

[9 DEC 2002] The disc delivers on many fronts. There is a quote in the bio from a reviewer who likened it to "Pink Floyd in a coffee house," and I would only add that it's the "freshest" side of Floyd seeping through the veins of Jon Simon's work. The best moments are reminiscent of the soul-bearing freedom you can feel inside "Ummagumma" or "Atom Heart Mother," more so than the Floyd of "Meddle" and beyond. [More]

Indie-Music.com

Through the Walls

[5 JUL 2001] "Through the Walls" is one of those CDs where it doesn't deserve to just be background music. This is a CD that absolutely needs to be listened to with the lights down low, and you just sit and listen to it. Don't do anything else. Don't read, don't talk to others, and don't play video games. Just enjoy it. [More]