Simon Spire Reviews

Performer Magazine Simon Spire EP review »

Review by Julia R. DeStefano for Performer Magazine, appearing in the March 2012 print edition.
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.

Simon Spire: No Solid Ground and Four-Letter Words US reviews »

Review by Jeffrey Sisk for the Daily News (McKeesport, PA), January 5th, 2012: No Solid Ground EP (advance EP from the upcoming album Four-Letter Words):

Simon Spire review, TheBykeRack »

No Solid Ground review by Tom Haugen at TheBykeRack.

Simon Spire- No Solid Ground

Think you’re already well versed in every must hear singer/songwriter? If so and you’re not familiar with New Zealand’s Simon Spire it’s time to become acquainted. Though Spire has a forthcoming full length slated for a release date this year, he’s just dropped this precursor to the album- a 5 song EP to test the waters of this rising star with an extraordinary talent for forthright and introspective songcraft.

Drawing parallels to luminaries like Pete Yorn or Ben Kweller, Spire bridges the gap between indie-rock and pop sensibilities with a universally accessible sound. Possessing a voice that resonates with perfect clarity, Spire relates personal musings and timeless reflection that succeeds in releasing enough disclosure to keep you hanging on every word but never so much that you’re left cringing at the details.

Coming in just under 20 minutes, this is an EP that leaves you wanting more and there’s little doubt in my mind much of the world is going to be hearing a lot more of Simon Spire in the very near future. Worth the price of admission for the first track alone- an upbeat, guitar driven rocker that might be what Ryan Adams sounds like on prozac- this is the perfect introduction to a songwriter that just might be a household name this time next year.

– Tom Haugen

Simon Spire Reviews – Four-Letter Words – Press »

Praise for Four-Letter Words from the April 2011 New Zealand album release:

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 – M2 Magazine, New Zealand

Ambitious, enthusiastic, and without a hint of cynicism, Spire’s upbeat attitude is vital in an industry that has become reluctant to invest in new talent…Spire’s lyrics are personal and confessional rather than edgy, with themes of self-discovery and reaching your potential…The music radiates a feelgood, easy-listening catchiness with the added punch of rock guitars. – The New Zealand Herald/Canvas

Indelible hooks – The New Zealand Herald/Timeout

Gloriously vulnerable and emotive…Four Letter Words‘ sound is very versatile with comparable moments to Owl City, Ryan Adams and Sufjan Stevens, putting it on par with some greats in the alternative music scene. –

Another confident slice of radio-friendly pop – Stack Magazine

Simon Spire Reviews and Press – ALL or NOTHING »

Praise for ALL or NOTHING:

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 quota while “All Or Nothing” and “Alive” have the saving grace of upbeat groove. Muscially, 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

Simon Spire’s debut album is an evocative album filled with different genres that seem to fit really well together. The album starts with tracks ‘Inside Out’ and ‘More or Less’ which both have a rock n roll bass line which firstly I found quite off-putting as they just jump straight out at you but after listening to the album several times, I actually quite liked that about them. The middle of the album is a lot slower and includes the track which has been receiving a lot of airtime ‘Hiding So Long’ which is a great little pop ballad. ‘Dying Daily’ and ‘Sweet release’ are tracks which are more suited to Simon’s vocal styling. Very easy listening and rich with well written lyrics. ‘You, You, You’ and ‘All or Nothing’ rounds out the album with grassy, rich rock riffs with a mellow bass undertone. This is an album that grows on you the more it is played and after a while, your toes are tapping and your singing along. –

This album gets off to a delightfully bouncy’n’breezy start with the exuberant “Inside Out.” Simon Spire’s sweet, boyish vocals project an infectious blend of joy and vitality. Spire’s thoughtful songwriting does the trick with admirable economy and a refreshing dearth of cutesy sentiment. The lively and catchy arrangements likewise hit the spot, with ringing guitars, sturdy drums, and chugging basslines keep things smooth, dynamic, and engaging throughout. Moreover, there’s an endearingly bubbly and upbeat quality evident throughout that ‘s impossible to either resist or dislike. A nice little album. –

It’s not often that I get to compare a band to Squeeze, but New Zealand balladeer Simon Spire deserves it. Squeeze is one of those band names you might not think of instantly, but, given time, many great “quirky” ’80s pop songs you hear on the radio are by them, They Might Be Giants, or Ben Folds (’80s-inspired, that is). That’s great company to be in for newcomer Simon Spire. This 26-year old deserves more attention in the States. Get him on the mp3 CD and see where he goes. –

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. Transcendence into the unknown is something everyone is sure to go through, and Simon uses his personal journey, in the pursuit of musical success to illustrate this. – NZ Musician

Simon Spire Review – Four-Letter Words – M2 Magazine »

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.