PETE FEENSTRA (songwriter/promoter/broadcaster) and JOHN SIMPSON (songwriter/multi-instrumentalist / formerly with The Feelgood Band have released a debut single, titled ‘Your Eyes Gave You Away.’
The number is something of a musical departure for the duo, with FEENSTRA being involved with rock & blues (Voodoo Ramble, Black Pearl, Zed Mitchell etc) and SIMPSON in rhythm & blues (ten years loyal service with the Dr Feelgood tribute band) but the jangling guitars and pop harmonies owe much to the ching ‘n’ chinkle tunefulness of acts like Tom Petty, the Traveling Wilburys, Nick Lowe, and The Byrds.
“The result surprised both of us,” says Feenstra. “I started out with a poppy idea and John’s musical vision transformed it into something that envelopes you, like all good pop music used to do.”
The single (video below) features a whipsawing riff, overlaid by other rhythmic guitar textures, all masterfully braided together by an electric kimono-ribbon. The voicing (probably unsurprisingly, given the title) seems to contain a sense of loss and regret.
During the verse, Simpson’s song voice is nasalized and granulose (in the best Dylan tradition), but soon the number explodes into a joyous and freeing chorus that will remind listeners of Heartbreakers-style Heartland rock from the mid-1980s.
If you enjoy velvety guitar layers, songs that explore the nuances & ambiguities of love, and seriously superb songwriting, you should check this out!
File alongside: Mike Campbell, J. J. Cale
Words: @neilmach 2023 ©