I should have gotten a lot more done today than I actually did. Unfortunately, a little brunch with a girlfriend led to one too many bloody marys and I just have yet to figure out how to daydrink correctly. So, here I am trying to play catch up on my chores, work, and life in general but honestly all I want to do is check out some new tunes. I’m so far behind on everything that I figured it wouldn’t help to check at least one album out so I blindly chose from my growing list of albums to review and landed on Jack Simons’ ‘Dillydally’.
As soon as “Here I Go on Top” took over my speakers, I was rushed into one of the most intriguing worlds I’ve visited lately. The vocals of this opening track have a super retro feeling but the steady drums and powerful lines of notes played by the rest of the band keep it from feeling like a complete throwback. I love how certain strings of words seem to be hurried but the chorus levels out to a normal beat. It’s really a bit all over the place but I’m intrigued.
The chord progressions of Jack Simons are anything but predictable and that’s what drew me into “Cindy Cigarette”. Sure, the chorus is sweet and classic but there’s something about the rest of this track that really makes it interesting. The chords chosen are almost dissonant and clashing feeling but the vocals keep it from feeling weird. It’s so strange and hard to explain and you just have to hear it. That feeling continues into “Be Aggressive” which is the only track I’ve ever heard from Jack Simons prior to tonight and it’s what sold me on him. I remember emailing him saying that I liked his sound but one track was just not enough for me to judge his music or even grant him a coveted post on my social media accounts. Now that I’m re-listening to this track, I realize how stupid of an idea that was. This is a super interesting track. Sure, I don’t like the lyrics much (or at least what I caught didn’t impress me) but I love how this track is a bit all over the place and somehow gets stuck in your head even though it’s not a “classic” song.
“Jersey City” has a very jazzy feel to it that I wasn’t quite expecting but instantly warmed up to. The vocals are still clearly that of Jack Simons but there’s something a bit more predictable about this track that was a bit refreshing but I also found a little too “classic” for Jack and what I had gotten from the rest of this album so far. Thankfully, “If Only Fear Could Be a Job” brought back the super intriguing sound that I have come to love from Jack. This track opens with a huge 80’s electronica vibe before shifting into that weird retro (yet modern) sound that Jack does perfectly. Like some of the other previous tracks on this album, I feel like the song doesn’t go in the direction that you would quite expect.
Ambient noise kicks off “Who What When Where” before the song hits its stride. I felt a shift of power with this song. I don’t think I realized just how much power the previous tracks had in them until “Who What When Where” brought a little bit more space to the album. That being said, there is no lack of energy in this track and there are moments that stick out throughout this song but, overall, it just feels a little softer than the previous tracks.
The intro into “Bryson Ben” gave me huge Beatles vibes which seems to really fit Jack before the drums kick in and turn the track into a powerful anthemic track. It’s still a bit slower-paced than some of the previous tracks but the power keeps it from feeling like the track is dragging in any way. I was lost in this track and was a bit shocked as choral vocals kicked off “I Want God to Text Me”. The vocals are a bit cheesy in this track and I honestly just couldn’t get into them much. They just seemed a bit too over-dramatic for me but I feel like it just shows yet another side of Jack Simons. Thankfully, things go back to normal for “Monday Morning Maid” (or at least as normal as Jack Simons can get). There’s something super light about this track that made it fly by. It’s carefree and fun and an overall great track.
“Untitled” closes out this album with over a minute and a half of silence before you get a super cool a capella part that sounds a bit like “I Want God to Text Me” but without the overdramatized words. Although I hated that it was a minute and a half of silence before I got to the very end of this album, it was a perfectly weird ending for a perfectly weird album.
I had asked Jack for a full album to review because I didn’t quite get it from the one single I heard. I don’t think I get it yet but I do get that I love the many layers that come with Jack Simons’ music. What a unique and strange journey.
Favorite Track(s): “Be Aggressive”
For Fans Of: Pure Weirdness; Creativity
Daydream-ability: 4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on the back of my couch; Autumn laid on the stairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 4 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
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