Album Review: Simon Kent’s “Dreams and Memories”
Portsmouth, UK’s Simon Kent, as I have stated before on this blog, is an extremely talented songwriter. What he is best at is creating soundscapes full of lush instrumentation and ambient tones, which coupled with his delicate voice, create quite an experience. The newest release from Kent is a full album called Dreams and Memories, and takes you through every possible emotion (specifically related to human relationships). The way Simon communicates his poetic message is in a way that fans of multiple genres of rock and pop can relate to.
What stands out in Dreams and Memories are the sounds I touched on earlier. Each instrument in Kent’s music is stitched together in such a way that it evokes some kind of other-worldly experience. What I mean by this statement is that some music exists to bring you into the present moment, or perhaps the past. With Dreams and Memories you are given the opportunity to experience your past, but if you so choose, you can escape to some distant nebula far away. As a composer I can appreciate Kent’s meticulous attention to multi-faceted music elements. From synth to percussion to any other instrument typical to a rock/pop band, Kent and company create something new from the notes we are all used to hearing. In an interview I did a while back with Simon, he had this to say about his music style:
“It’s true that there are a lot of diverse influences that feed into the music. I made a conscious decision to embrace a wide range of musical possibilities, while at the same time trying to find a sound of my own. I do listen to a lot of musical genres, encompassing everything you have mentioned. The musicians who have worked on the songs also come from diverse backgrounds and have very different influences.”
I find so often that when songwriters have their success it is the result of one of two reasons. One reason could be that they hold to the mainstream formulas of the current Billboard Top 40, piggy-backing off of sounds created by someone else. The other reason is that they have managed to create such a unique, but approachable, sound that it doesn’t take much to fall in love with their work. Simon Kent, as is shown on Dreams and Memories, is most certainly an example of the second reason, as he has a sound that is so unique, but is not avant-garde in the sense that it isn’t radio friendly. You can easily pick up the song hooks and sing with them, which is ever so vital to being successful in this industry.
Every song on Dreams and Memories leaves its own unique mark on your psyche, allowing you to soar as well as contemplate. I think that the title of the LP is a window into Kent’s artistic vision, as you are allowed to unlock the future as well as your past within his songs. Do not miss out on this experience, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Dreams and Memories for yourself.
Simon can be found at: