26 Sep 2021
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Simon Hirst - Single Review: No Turning Back

13 May 2021 // A review by Trevor Faville

Hamilton Singer-songwriter Simon Hirst has released a new single No Turning Back. This is his first new material since the Feet of God collection from 2018. 

Those familiar with the work on Feet of God will find recognisable elements here. This is mid-tempo guitar rock, with melody to the fore, impeccably polished through the recording and production process. Hirst takes direct input in this regard, with expert and experienced input from Pat Kuhtze on drums and Scott Seabright handling engineering and mixing. 

No Turning Back opens emphatically with the key weapon in Hirst's armoury - his voice - which is in commanding shape and reminiscent, to these ears anyway, of Diorama-era Daniel Johns, which is really no mean feat. Throughout, it's the voice that dominates this song. Melody is such an important factor in this man's work. Not only is the melodic construction rock- solid, but the delivery itself, expressed through the dynamics, phrasing, range, and timbre make for maximum impact. There's that quintessential blend of melancholy with a yearning, upward-looking mood that evokes the very best of the pop-rock tradition. 

An extra key element that shows an accomplished songwriter at work is the structure. The first chorus- and you’d best believe it's catchy- hits inside the one-minute mark, a cleverly constructed bridge happens at exactly the right point, and a well-crafted coda rounds off the shape of the song perfectly. No unnecessary repetition, and no wasted notes either. 

This song feels like more of an assertive musical statement from Hirst than much of Feet of God and is fine work indeed.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Simon Hirst

Simon Hirst is a singer/songwriter from Hamilton, New Zealand. His musical journey began after hearing the classic Split Enz song, I See Red at the young age of 10 years old. It became somewhat of an obsession.

Over the following years, Hirst became an increasingly popular performer due to his musicianship and live shows that effortlessly seem to include great audience interaction as well as great performances. These attributes led to him being flown around the Southern Hemisphere performing, and playing up to 220 gigs a year.

In 2015 his debut EP Shining in Silver was released. It garnered good attention and had critics drawing comparisons from his sound and song writing to the likes of Neil Finn, R.E.M, and Sir Dave Dobbyn. The EP also drew commendation from legendary mastering engineer Scott Hull of Masterdisk, New York. High praise from someone who has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mayer to name but a few. After touring and promoting Shining in Silver for the next 18 months, Hirst booked into Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studio’s to start his debut LP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Simon Hirst

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