Simon Spire
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Simon Spire

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter




"Relate Magazine review"

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Simon’s album since I asked him a few questions in November. While I may have been inspired by his thorough answers that told me this isn’t a fly-by-night pop singer who just wants to enjoy fifteen minutes of fame, it really was the strength of the lead track, “Liberate Your Love,” that had the name Simon Spire within easy reach at the back of my mind. I wanted his music right where it belongs: easily accessible on my iTunes list.

“Liberate Your Love” is ear candy that is enjoyed from the very first listen. And while the pop hook makes it evolve into the ear worm that you can’t dislodge no matter how hard you try, the lyrics aren’t fluff that you’d be embarrassed to sing out loud. While it may be easier to live a life in the shadows, that’s far from how we are intended to live. The right thing and the easy thing are hardly ever the same thing. While I would normally highlight my favorite lyrics, I’ll refrain this time, because I’d be writing them all out. Plus, it’s the music and Simon’s voice that sells this so well.

The rest of the tracks weren’t a disappointment, either. “Knocking On an Open Door” appears twice on the five song EP, but I didn’t get tired of hearing it. It’s another one of those songs that it is difficult to hear enough of, and the message is universal. We’re all looking for something. We all have that longing.
“No Solid Ground” and “The Blue Pill” are the two slower tempo songs, both introspective and searching. “No Solid Ground” begins with lyrics hinting at a desire for stability, but as the song progresses, it transforms into a song about being comfortable with who you are. “Even with all I want to be I might just end up me.”
“The Blue Pill,” with its childlike piano notes sprinkled throughout, makes this song about honesty interesting to examine from different perspectives. Realizing that the truth sometimes hurts, Simon comes to the conclusion “And one day you will finally see/That you don’t really want to be free/So much nicer instead to be happy/So why bother?” That, in fact, would be the biggest lie of all. Even if this song contains the heavier lyrics, and a sad heart that comes with knowing that while people say they want the truth, they don’t always mean it, there is also a feeling of doubt. He’s lying to himself and he doesn’t seem to like it enough to want to continue to believe it. If he did, after all, it would be completely straying from the person he’s looking for in “No Solid Ground.” Truth is a bitter pill indeed. But lies are even harder to swallow.
With his heart on his sleeve, thoughtful and creative lyrics, and enough originality to stand out in the world of mainstream pop, Simon’s No Solid Ground has enough substance to hold onto. While the energy and the positive messages are the most attractive thing about this EP, the thoughtful and relatable lyrics are a sturdy foundation that can maintain a long term career. - Relate Magazine

"The Daily News Review"

Zealand native Simon Spire
is a star in his homeland,
and now the talented Kiwi
is looking to make his mark
in America. The five-track
“No Solid Ground” EP is
his first U.S. release and
gives every indication that
Spire has what it takes to be
a star.
The radio-ready indie
pop platter gets off to a
fast start with “Liberate
Your Love” and “Knocking
On an Open Door,” and
Spire is almost as effective
on the title track and “The
Blue Pill.” An unnecessary
remix of “Knocking On
an Open Door” brings the
19-minute set to a close,
but there’s enough here to
make me want to hear more
from this kid. (JS) - The Daily News, McKeesport PA

"Four-Lettter Words album review"

Simon lives the quintessential rock-star lifestyle. The Auckland-born singer-songwriter lives and works in New York City and regularly jets back to continue his musical passion in New Zealand. This album is Simon stripped back, exposing accumulated experiences to his beloved Kiwi audiences. From the pop ballad, “No Solid Ground” to the vulnerable and questioning, “The Blue Pill” to the rock-riffing, melodic “Knocking On An Open Door,” Spire is a musically diverse talent with a Midas touch for great hooks. The album is a clean, intelligent, no-nonsense expression of pop-rock and its sincerity connects from Spire’s well-strummed guitar directly to his appreciative fan base. To know Simon is to know that hours of punishing attention to detail have gone into creating this album. And input from producers, Rich Mercurio and Lee Nadel, who have worked in a wide range of genres with artists like Regina Spektor, Enrique Iglesias and Jewel, has made this collaboration a paradigm of sublime. This project is an extension of Spire’s journey of discovery. If you can’t make one of his New Zealand tour concerts – this is the next best thing.

Music review by Heemi Katene-Hill for M2 Magazine, New Zealand, May 2011.
- M2 Magazine, New Zealand

"Performer Magazine record review"

Simon Spire is going to be a star, and his first U.S. release, No Solid Ground, is every indication of this. The young artist’s brand of indie pop perfection is meticulously crafted and carefully accented with electronic elements. The disc begins with the playful yet profound punch of “Liberate Your Love,” bringing to mind Graham Colton, Pete Yorn, and Ben Kweller. According to Spire, “’Liberate Your Love’ is a call to free ourselves from our conditioning and to step into the truth of who we are. The song seeks revolution in what our lives stand for – an individual revolution that reverberates through the collective.” The next track, “Knocking On An Open Door,” explores the themes of identity and potential through rich textures and an enthusiastic beat.

Spire clearly has the ability to transition from slower ballads to upbeat material, each equally as soul-searching and introspective. The EP closes with “The Blue Pill,” a delicate piano ballad that showcases his flawless voice as he sings: “Maybe now I should start tellin’ lies, ‘cause I’m too honest.” Spire is gifted, relatable to all generations, and has the innate ability to pull listeners into his world through songs of a genuine and heartfelt nature. - Performer Magazine

"Live Review: Simon Spire"

Where: All Asia in Cambridge, MA
When: 9/16/11

Even though I haven’t been to a show at All Asia in ages, when I received an email about checking out singer/songwriter Simon Spire’s set there I just simply had to go. And it wasn’t because of his publicist’s knack for capitalizing all the right words in her email to me, even though that was a huge part of it. Instinctively, Spire’s image resonated with me–he’s just a man who mires through his problems like the rest of us, only through music. And for this particular Cambridge performance, he was sans backing band.

As a complete novice to his sound, a stripped down set is the exact way I needed to be introduced to him. Even though there were a few dozen in attendance (his set started at 9), he worked the crowd like he was entertaining thousands. His demeanor was disturbingly pleasant, as he pushed through his songs with the greatest of ease. He also was informative as he was delightful, as he discussed his complex lyricism concerning political disallusion (“No Solid Ground”), the tricky nature of truth (“The Blue Pill”), and the undeniable beauty in both the profane and the profound (“A Four-Letter Word”). Shortly after he finished playing, he jumped right in the crowd to meet devoted fans as well as newly acquired ones. He mingled with other performers who also played that night, and was even sweet enough to shoot the shit with me after getting me a beer. Turns out he loves Neil Young, adores Brooklyn but misses his native New Zealand immensely, and is just having a blast making music that touches and inspires others. And just when I thought he couldn’t get any more down to earth, he gave me a lift to the train station. Man, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore. - Performer Magazine

"All or Nothing album review"

Auckland-born and New York-based Simon Spire is trailblazing his way to success with a debut album worthy of comparisons to the charting international competition. From the first phrase Spire’s guitar talent is obvious on the jazz/funk shuffle of ‘Inside Out’. The rock feel of the album saves it in places from the highly produced moments that scream radio song. “Hiding So Long” is well-written and is a showcase of Spire’s style that is pop guitar. Among the great songs are moments that could be mistaken for being disjointed but prove they have experimental and unique direction. “Dying Daily,” “Nor More Words” and “Sweet Release” fill the ballad quote while “All Or Nothing” and “Alive” have the saving grace of upbeat groove. Musically, John Mayer is a close comparison with vocals that are mature beyond his years and reminiscent of Elvis Costello. Another great Kiwi artist flying the flag abroad for us. - The Waikato Times

"Celebs Gone Good"

CGG recently attended a sweet performance by Simon Spire, a transplanted New Zealander currently living in NYC. (We'll spare you the Flight of the Conchords references.) Okay, just this one. Unlike, Brett and Jemaine, Simon has competent management (sorry, Murray). He was discovered by Lenedra Carroll. You may have heard of her daughter, Jewel. Simon has received guidance and support from Lenedra's organization, Artist Advance, which supports and mentors emerging artists.

Simon stopped by the CGG office to tell us about his new CD, "ALL OR NOTHING" and the causes that concern him. We have to admit we found his accent charming (or chaaaa-ming, as he would say.)
CelebsGoneGood: You recently moved to NYC. How do you like living here?
Simon Spire: I love the profusion of culture here and how accessible it is. It's great to jump on the subway and get somewhere quickly. I also love the artist community because we support each other. I also love Central Park. NY is hard and there's a lot to contend with like noise, etc.; but I feel comfortable and settled here now.
CGG: What is your favorite thing about NY? What do you miss about NZ?
SS: I love Ellis Island. I've been there 3 times and I like getting the feeling of how many people came through there, what they left behind and the transformation they needed to make. [As for New Zealand] I miss the open space and nature and my dog Louis (a Papillion). It's also peaceful and serene.
CGG: You graduated from the University of Auckland with a business degree.
How did you become a musician?
SS: I always wanted to be a musician. There came a point where I had to choose between business and music. I came into contact with Lenedra Carroll who runs an organization that supports and unites young artists and helps them further their careers. Her experience in the industry is so valuable. It's important for artists to exchange ideas and industry advice. I try to help other artists when I can. [For example] when I needed to record a demo, someone offered to let me use their home studio. I had to shoot a video and I invited an artist to join me that day so they could get their own video done to help save on expenses. I also think that art doesn't need to be competitive. We can all benefit from helping each other.
CGG: We went to your website and voted Dying Daily as our favorite song.
Please tell us about it.
SS: It's one of the most multilayered songs on the CD. The idea is letting go of things I've been holding on to...there's a little bit of cynicism in it. It's about the transient and impermanent nature of things.
CGG: During the show, you mentioned that you wrote it while living in the San Juan Islands in Washington State...
SS: I wrote that during a time in my life when so many changes were happening. It's a beautiful place.
CGG: What's the indie music scene like in NZ?
SS: It's a lot more vibrant now. The government also supports artists with small financial grants to do things like shoot a video.
CGG: Who are your favorite artists?
SS: Alanis Morrisette, Evermore (an Australian band), John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
CGG: You spent some time in LA before moving to NYC. Do you think it's easier to get you name out there in NY as opposed to LA or even in New Zealand?
SS: I think there are a lot more opportunities to play and perform in NY.
LA has a lot of talented singer-songwriters, but it's a little too disbursed. NY has a more vibrant music scene. Also LA is more about film and TV.
CGG: Do you write your songs alone or do you collaborate with other musicians?
SS: Right now, I prefer to write alone, but I'm open to working with someone if the right opportunity came along.
CGG: Are you open to writing songs for other people?
SS: I think I would be, but when I get a good song I kind of want to keep it for myself, especially if it's about something personal and close to me.
CGG: Please tell us about any social issues that concern you.
SS: I'm really interested in human rights. I support Amnesty International. I'm also concerned about the environment. It's the most pressing issue for us and I try to minimize my impact as much as possible. It's important for people to be aware of what they can do [to minimize their impact.] I'm also very excited about organizations that help people empower themselves. When I was in New Zealand, I was involved with an organization called "Youth Line". I went through 9 months of training to become a telephone counselor. For me, it was really inspiring to help people help themselves. I think that's what musicians do; we help people connect to their own emotions and ideas. I think that musicians have the opportunity to move people.
Simon, we couldn't agree with you more. Please check out his CD, "ALL OR NOTHING"; it goes great with a good cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.


"Channel One Networks (US)"

Updated: January 16, 2009
Inspired By Spire

By Christa Fletcher

Channel One News has a confession. We are collectively in crush with Simon Spire. Who wouldn't adore such a polite guy fascinated by Ellis Island with a foreign accent? We know we shouldn't play favorites, but this New Zealand import is such a sweetie, we've all moved on from the goofy guys of Flight of the Concords. We asked if he gets tired of references to Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement from the hit HBO series. "No, not yet," said Spire, 26, in an interview, "I'm proud of those guys." With a laugh he added, " I think they're hilarious."

Though the hilarious comedy-music duo share the same New Zealand to New York City move as Spire, his transition to The States involved packed crowds at clubs and Jewel's mom as his mentor. Before we get ahead of ourselves, here's a little background

Simon Spire has always been a musician. As a child, he played the piano, but at 13-years-old, he took up the guitar after listening to Nirvana.

After hearing a classmate play "Come As You Are," Spire said, "I saw that the music I loved could be recreated on my own - on the guitar," and so his career as a singer-songwriter turned in a new direction. Spire began playing in the high school jazz band and with a cover band that played everything from The Beatles to Ricky Martin.

"It wasn't always music I'd listen to on my own, but it was just kind of fun to play those pop songs," said Spire.

After growing up in Auckland, New Zealand and getting his degree in finance at the University of Auckland, Spire received his big break when his father coincidentally met Lenedra Carroll, the mother of pop-folk artist Jewel in Los Angeles. Spire is now a member of Ms. Carroll's artist development project Artist Advantage.

Now Simon Spire is touring in the U.S. and New Zealand and working on his second music video. He relishes in performing in front of fun crowds at his shows, "The more packed the club, the more exciting it is," noted Spire. He also enjoys the art and culture scene in New York. Despite his growing success and long flights between the two countries, Spires remains grounded by spending a few moments before shows to "be silent and peaceful" and when he's away from the city, he likes taking hikes in nature. No doubt he'll never be short of a hiking partner with his growing fan base at Channel One News.

To hear more stories from Simon Spire, listen to his interview in the Music Library or check out his photos and music lyrics in the gallery below. - Channel One Networks


2008: ALL or NOTHING. Full-length album. Independent release in USA. Major release in New Zealand. Major network radio play for "Hiding So Long", "Alive" and "More or Less".

2010: Softly Softly Catchee Monkey; inter-album acoustic EP.

2012: Four-Letter Words; Second full-length album, recorded in Manhattan; released in New Zealand 2011, official U.S. release 2012. Lead single "Liberate Your Love" licensed ahead of album release to Hollister and Ecko clothing labels.



*Short Bio*

"Indie pop perfection...Simon Spire is going to be a star." Performer Magazine.

"Spire is a musically diverse talent with a Midas touch for great hooks…the album’s sincerity connects." M2 Magazine.

He calls himself a New Yorklander. Originally from New Zealand, Simon Spire’s musical journey drew him to New York where he recorded his second album, Four-Letter Words. Spire’s lyrically-driven songs come to life amid buoyant and varied textures, investigating both individual and collective transformation and exploring the boundaries of identity and human potential.

A three-time award-winner in the USA Songwriting Competition, and one of U.S. TV network Channel One’s Top 20 Artists of 2009, Spire has featured in the Top 20 and Top 40 airplay charts in New Zealand, with Four-Letter Words debuting at #6 on the New Zealand independent sales chart. Drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, John Mayer, and Ryan Adams, Spire has been described as "a rising star with an extraordinary talent for forthright and introspective songcraft."

"Spire has the ability to engage in blatant self exposure, whilst at the same time he refrains from alienating his audience, translating his experiences to a wide spectrum of people." NZ Musician.

"Spire has what it takes to be a star." The Daily News (McKeesport, PA).

*Full Bio*

He calls himself a New Yorklander: neither entirely New Zealander nor New Yorker, Simon Spire inhabits the no-man’s land that lies somewhere in between. It’s a fitting reflection of the relentless investigation into the boundaries of identity and human potential that have shaped his life and music, particularly his second album, Four-Letter Words. “I’m always interested in where humanity is going, and for that reason I love being in New York—I’ve often thought of it as being at the forefront of our continuing cultural evolution,” says Simon. “In that sense, I want to be part of a new vision, taking part in where we’re going next. I wanted Four-Letter Words to be relevant not just on a personal level, but also collectively.”

Simon Spire’s music is as buoyant as it is introspective. The infectious energy of the music is immediately palpable in tracks such as Liberate Your Love and Knocking On An Open Door. Yet on closer inspection, the themes are not those commonly encountered in such sonically and melodically engaging fare. “Liberate Your Love is a call to free ourselves from our conditioning and step into the truth of who we are,” says Spire. “It’s about the recognition of our human potential and the boldness of claiming it, but it also deals with the frustration of our continual denial of that and our failure to embrace it.” Similarly ambitious themes are evident in the celebratory self-recognition and newfound freedom of Knocking On An Open Door.

In fact, the writer goes so far as to say that his songs are, in essence, about revolution. “It’s revolution in the pure sense of the word—a radical shift in perspective. It’s not political or social; it’s a revolution in what our lives stand for—an individual revolution that reverberates through the collective. The songs are about being radically true to the core of oneself, to the extent that there is constant openness to and inquiry into what is ultimately real, and what’s not.”

A Brooklyn resident of three years, Spire recorded his sophomore album in Manhattan with producers Rich Mercurio and Lee Nadel, and mixing engineer Brian Malouf (All American Rejects, Michael Jackson, David Gray). Mercurio and Nadel have worked in a wide range of genres during their extensive time in the New York music scene with artists such as Regina Spektor, Matt White, and Lenka, and Spire immediately felt a shared musical vision when first discussing ideas for the album with them. “Rich and Lee hold the fundamentals of the music and the song itself above all else, but then their understanding and experience also supports the music fully coming to life with the colo