All about that subtle, but that vocal hook…
Folkster Simon Paparo has released his glistening new single Gold At Midnight, a respectful ode to the tender first months of fresh love. He has also dropped a spectacularly beautiful video to accompany the track, featuring a young couple basking in the golden hour, directed by Claire Nica (Fountaineer, 360, Thundamentals).
Gold At Midnight is certainly subtle, but that vocal hook will settle inside the mind for hours after the music ends. The gentle acoustic feel harkens to early Bon Iver, or even Australian folk auteurs Boy & Bear and Dustin Tebbut, but there is something very unique about this thoughtful, humble track. Speaking on the inspiration behind the track, Simon says, "Gold at Midnight is inspired by my fiancé. She is a truly beautiful soul. It is about us, a couple on their journey in the younger stages of courtship. It dives into my emotions early on in the relationship when I couldn't talk about the feelings I felt for her, as it was too early and may have caused conflict."
The clip for Gold At Midnight is the perfect accompaniment to such a soothing track. Director Claire Nica has somehow captured on film the feeling of new love; every detail is flawless, from the sunlight filtered through the trees, to the way the characters follow each other through the Australian landscape. Every moment within this clip is deeply considered, as Simon explains, "Claire was brilliant to work with and made the whole shoot very easy for everyone involved. She has the ability to capture the beauty of landscape, human expression and was able to get the best from the actors."
Excited to bring the track to life for fans, Simon enthuses, "Fans can expect a full and rich sound - I've been working closely with Charlie Heart who is a great songwriter, pianist and vocalist and have guitarist Paul Mason, bass guitarist David Kean and drummer Jon Ritchie ready to keep the fans ears alight. I'm really looking forward to hitting the stage with these amazing musicians. All of these guys are accomplished vocalists too, so I can't wait to unleash these new tunes to everyone."
Stream: GOLD AT MIDNIGHT
Buy: GOLD AT MIDNIGHT
Watch: GOLD AT MIDNIGHT
Interview with Simon Paparo
Question: How would you describe your music?
Simon Paparo: Pretty chilled folk pop. It's very layered and there is large focus on the vocals, I love experimenting with vocal layering and looking at how instrumentation sounds can be changed to sound a little more unique.
Question: What inspired the song Gold At Midnight?
Simon Paparo: My fiancé, she's a truly beautiful soul. The song is about the early days of our relationship. I was having strong feelings for her early on and I didn't want to cause conflict by speaking my emotions too early. Luckily for me I didn't (laughs).
Question: How does your fiancé feel about this?
Simon Paparo: Well when I asked her about this, here is her very honest answer: "Touched and honoured and a little overwhelmed and pressured to be amazing. I'm not always your Gold At Midnight, sometimes I'm probably your headache at midnight!" I love her!
Question: Can you tell us what we can expect at your upcoming launch?
Simon Paparo: There will be some great bands performing, Lucy's Lockett are a great folk pop act, Daniel Shaw is consistently entertaining with his lush warm keys sounds and Xander James DJ will be filling the house with chilled vibes during the breaks. I'll have a full band with me when we play. Fellow songwriter/producer Charlie Heart on Keys and bv's, Paul Mason on guitar, Jon Ritchie on drums and David Kean on bass guitar and bv's. I'm really excited to bring my new material to the stage. It'll be a rich full sound. These guys are all singer/songwriters and it will be an honour to perform with such quality musicians.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Simon Paparo: This is a hard question… but probably a song called Firefly. I love to experiment live with the drawn out delay on the vocals at the start and finish of the song. I like the different tuning on the guitar for this one too.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend the launch, who would it be?
Simon Paparo: Probably Neil Finn. I'd love to pick his brain about my song writing. To me, he is one of the world's greatest songwriters. When you really break down songs like Better Be Home Soon, Fall At Your Feet or Into Temptation there is much more going on behind the scenes… the little subtle melodic chord changes and melodies with high quality lyrics over them… it's hard to beat.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Simon Paparo: I do love both, however I think performing wins. If you really nail a gig it's such an uplifting feeling afterwards. If I feel like I've had a really positive show I find it hard to sleep afterwards as I'm so pumped from it.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Simon Paparo: The topic of which I'm writing about is enough to motivate me to write. Sometimes I'll think wow that's a cool idea to write about and then I'll have a song 20 minutes later. Other times, I wrestle with songs for years. It's a strange process. I also feel motivated by the creativity of getting in the studio with an idea and seeing what interesting sounds I can come up with for the recording.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Simon Paparo: Ben Salter, Lisa Mitchell, Dustin Tebutt, Vance Joy, Radiohead and London Grammar - all are amazing!
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Simon Paparo: I was inspired a lot by seeing my older siblings with guitars but also hearing the likes of Led Zeppelin and Dire Straits. There was something about hearing Walk Of Life by Dire Straits as a kid that really set me off as a lover of music.
Probably one of the biggest inspirations is my father; he would always be feeding the family great music; at one stage he was buying a CD a week to show us what gems he'd found from some high quality artists like Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, Emmlou Harris and Neil Young. I was also very inspired by a friend of mine from high school called Brian, we used to write many songs together and go busking in Newtown, Sydney.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Simon Paparo: Vance Joy, that guy is on fire right now; I'm really digging his sound. I also feel like we'd have a nice vocal blend doing some harmonies etc.
Interview by Brooke Hunter