2 Apr 2023

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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.

With famous NZ session drummer Patrick Kuhtze on board, the foundation of the album was recorded. The project even garnered interest from Split Enz’s keyboardist and producer Eddie Rayner, who appears on the album playing a whirling organ solo on Nothing I Can Do, producing, and also arranging a beautiful orchestral version of album closer Through the Wall of Light for a special online-only EP. On Rayner’s appearance: “It was a surreal moment really. The guy whose music started this whole journey walks into the studio, sunglasses on. He was an absolute gentleman and was very complimentary of both the songs, and my musicianship. From someone who was in two of my favourite bands and went on to play for Paul McCartney...”

Hirst’s debut LP Feet of God was released early 2018 and a muzic.net.nz review had this to say immediately; “This is a musical touchstone that is impossible to ignore simply because like (Neil) Finn, Hirst writes songs that, if they were stripped down to melody, harmony and timbre, would lose no impact at all”. A growing profile has seen him support Mitch James, Dave Dobbyn, and continue to draw larger live audiences himself. His sophomore album promises to bring a slightly harder edge, and leans into the mid 2000’s sound of acts like Switchfoot and Jimmy Eat World. It’s slated for a late 2021 release.

With such high praise behind him, and being a performer who is equally at home on stage as a solo performer or with the band, the future is looking bright for this Kiwi songwriter.


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  • Hamilton

Reviews / Interviews

REVIEW: Single Review: No Turning Back
Submitted by trevf
13 May 2021
REVIEW: Album Review: Feet of God
Submitted by trevf
2 Apr 2018
REVIEW: EP Review: Shining in Silver
Submitted by Guest
8 Dec 2015

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