steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Will Simmons

"Him with His Head in His Hands" 7"

Unread Records

Genres: indie pop, diy pop, folk-pop

PO Box 3462
Omaha, NE 68103

Apr 7 - 13 2003

It's a funny world we live in where all the good pop music isn't popular at all.  But that's reality for you.  Always looking for perfectly good artists to screw over.  If you're ever going to become popular for your art, well, you're going to have to wait until you've been dead for a few years.  Don't worry, it's not that hard.  You'll live.  Oh wait, you won't.

But I digress.  The six tunes on Will Simmons' Him with His Head in His Hands 7" are all delightfully sparse, personal pop gems with only guitar and vocals responsible for the sound (except for "For Vollis Simpson," which is based on a jazz sample.)

"Happy Birthday Cake For Kevin" is a short, cute ditty with a simple melody that will surely plant a smile on your face.  "Praying For Pittsburgh" is that type of genius pop tune that gets you humming obediently as a tear forms in the corner of your eye.  "Self Portrait (Him with His Head in His Hands)," meanwhile, is a skillfully-executed pop number with sparse, yet complete acoustic guitar instrumentation.  "First Glimpse of the Day" is the album's only instrumental, yet it doesn't spare Simmons' persistent tunefulness.  The other two tracks, "One Man To Know" and "For Vollis Simpson" are also excellent tracks, the former a hummable pop tune, the latter based on a jazz sample by Margot Leverett.

Simmons' personal, confronting style is soberingly beautiful - his simple guitar-and-vocal arrangements will make you want to smile and weep at the same time.  He has a way with melody, and each track on this 7" is instantly accessible.  The four-track recording works perfectly with his simple arrangements, making this a pleasingly lo-fi artifact.  The only problem, as is the case with so many seven-inchers, is that it's too bloody short.  I want more!

Only a 500 of these babies have been made, so snatch up a copy of Him with His Head in His Hands while you still can.  Trust me, you won't regret it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]