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Simone Felice

Idioma disponible: inglés
Simone Felice's literate, artful, and passionate songs have been informed by a life full of unpredictable drama, including more than one brush with death. His melodies and arrangements possess a grand, sweeping sound that adds weight and emotional power to lyrics steeped in poetic themes and literary influences. (He's a published novelist and poet as well as a musician.) His vocals have an unforced, natural strength that gives his performances the resonance of a gifted actor. He first made an impression on the Americana scene as a member of the Felice Brothers, contributing to albums such as Tonight at the Arizona (2007) and Yonder Is the Clock (2009). After departing his sibling band, Felice formed the Duke & the King and issued two full-lengths with the project by the end of 2010, when he released his solo debut, Live from a Lonely Place. Operating primarily as a solo artist from that point forward, he delivered solo sets like Strangers (2014) and All the Bright Coins (2022) that continued to showcase his intimate storytelling, while also producing hit albums for the Lumineers and Vance Joy. Simone Felice was born on October 4, 1976 in Palenville, a small working-class town in upstate New York near the Catskill Mountains. His life was first marked as something out of the ordinary when he was 12; young Simone suffered a brain aneurysm that kept him in a hospital for two months as he slowly recovered his basic motor skills and learned how to read and write again. By the time he was 15, Felice had developed an interest in music, playing in an experimental punk rock band with his friends. As the group's lyricist, he learned to spin improbable tales, which led to his initial experiments with poetry. In 2000, he published his first book, a collection of verse called The Picture Show, and was soon publishing short stories. However, as his literary career was on the rise, Felice's interest in music also took a step forward; Simone and his brother Ian began writing songs together, and made rough recordings of their work with friend and bassist Doc Brown. Eventually another brother, James, joined the group on accordion, and with Ian on lead vocals and guitar and Simone on drums, they adopted the name the Felice Brothers and self-released their debut album, Through These Reins and Gone, in 2006. Between 2007 and 2009, the Felice Brothers released three albums and toured extensively, gaining a reputation as one of the best and most original groups on the Americana scene, and Simone received his due as one of the group's most gifted lyricists. In 2008, he took a busman's holiday and played drums with the Avett Brothers on their Top 20 album I and Love and You, before Simone's final album as an official member of the Felice Brothers, 2009's Yonder Is the Clock, reached number 20 on the Billboard 200, their first appearance on the chart. Around that time, Simone and his wife were anticipating the birth of their first baby. When the couple lost the child to a miscarriage, Simone retreated into songwriting with his friend Robert "Chicken" Burke, and they formed a duo called the Duke & the King (named for two characters in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), recording their debut album, Nothing Gold Can Stay, which was released by the year's end. In 2010, Felice went into the hospital after a series of fainting spells, and discovered that an undiagnosed congenital heart condition left him with severe arterial blockage and required immediate surgery. Despite a second brush with death, Simone made a full recovery and had a prolific 2011: He released a self-titled second album with the Duke & the King, the Felice Brothers reunited for the album Celebration, Florida (with Simone contributing backing vocals), and he published his first novel, Black Jesus. Not long after his heart surgery, he and his spouse welcomed a healthy baby daughter, and inspired in part by fatherhood, he began writing songs for what became his self-titled debut album, which was released in 2012. In March of 2014, Felice returned with his second solo effort, Strangers, which included contributions from Ian and James Felice, Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz of the Lumineers, and Leah Siegel. The next year's intimate From the Violent Banks of the Kaaterskill again featured his brothers alongside guests on strings, bass, and drums. Slowing down his solo output, Felice produced the Lumineers' chart-topping 2016 album Cleopatra, then contributed to records by artists including Bat for Lashes, Vance Joy, and Dan Mangan. His next solo album, 2018's The Projector, featured appearances by, among others, James Felice, Bat for Lashes, Rachael Yamagata, and Four Tet. He then rejoined the Lumineers in the studio to produce 2019's III. Before returning with more solo material, he also worked on recordings for Jade Bird, Wesley Schultz, the Wandering Hearts, and others. Chrysalis Records signed on for the rising producer's next solo outing, All the Bright Coins. Recorded with producer/arranger David Baron and released in January 2022, its contributors again included the Felice Brothers and Four Tet's Kieran Hebden, as well as sibling vocalists the Webb Sisters.
© Mark Deming & Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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