Simon Taylor is a singer-songwriter from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North-East of England. His music combines elements of Latin, funk and rock with musical influences ranging from Lou Reed to Serge Gainsbourg. Having studied classical guitar initially, Simon began writing songs that reflected his love of Latin culture as well as occasionally exploring his own experiences of mental health issues.
Simon began recording his own songs with his band Simon Taylor & The Sundowners in 2011. Between then and 2016, the 4-piece ensemble recorded an album (2013's "Continental Girl") plus a single ("Hot Love") and E.P ("New York City Girl" in 2015), latterly with guest vocalist and collaborator Ivel Goverda. Critically well-received locally, NARC Magazine gave "Single of the Month" status to 2014's "Hot Love" after an earlier "Demo of the Month" review for the Sundowners' track "Real Fantasy".
In 2016, and following the departure of Ivel from the Sundowners' line-up, Simon began to perform under his own name, initially with the remaining line-up which included Jon Forster on drums, Jamie Shields and Dan Pietruszka on bass, Paul Taylor on keys and Simon Coleman on percussion. His first release with this band was the 2016 single "Like You Do", which again received positive reviews locally. Following a headline performance at the O2 Academy Newcastle with the band in 2018, Simon began to perform and record his music largely solo. This ultimately resulted in Simon's 2021 double-e.p "Under The Volcano", which mixed themes of travel and isolation within a frequently Latin-influence musical backdrop. The Latin ballad e.p single "Bolero Loco" received a 5-star review in NE Volume Magazine upon its release and was also played on Talk Radio Europe, Spain's only English-speaking radio station.
In early 2022 Simon released his e.p, "Survival", a collection of five songs focused on the theme of mental health. On hearing this e.p on Bandcamp the British Library Sound Archive asked Simon to send over his back catalogue thus far for storage in the archive. In 2023 Simon released a new e.p, "Karma", that was recorded at Blank Studios in Newcastle by producer Lisa Murphy and which features some of the finest local jazz and pop musicians. Simon was delighted to discover he has recently been accepted for Help Musicians Recording & Releasing Music funding. He will be working on a new project over the end of 2023 and early 2024 as a result.
"The highlight of the month's bag is the latest from Simon Taylor & The Sundowners, with a record as charming as their moniker. A delicious duet with Ivel Goverda, "Hot Love" takes a strong acid jazz influence and wraps it in an effortless mood of smooth. Think Parisian cafes on cobbled streets of fallen leaves and the beautiful people passing by. Close your eyes and you can even smell the Gauloises"
Michael Brown, NARC Magazine