UK based writing / recording collective Simon and The Astronauts have joined with acclaimed US musician Rachel Haden (The Haden Triplets, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, The Rentals, Todd Rundgren, Hadestown)for their second full-length, self-titled album due out April 2022.
A new single “‘Ten League Boots” is out today and streaming on digital platforms here: https://orcd.co/simonandtheastronauts10league.
Simon Wells of the band says, “It’s a song about change for yourself or whatever you choose. It’s my take on Seven-league boots to make your own moonshot.”
Seven-league boots are an element in European folklore. The boots allow the person wearing them to take strides of seven leagues per step, resulting in great speed. The boots are often presented by a magical character to the protagonist to aid in the completion of a significant task.
Beginning life as a collaboration between songwriters Simon Wells and Ben Hewerdine with producer and musician Chris Pepper following their introduction by Ben’s father and Simon’s mentor, the acclaimed English songwriter and record producer Boo Hewerdine, ‘Simon and The Astronauts’ have already been creating music together for a number of years. The trio, along with an impressive list of collaborators, released their debut EP ‘The Entertainment Suite’ in 2019, quickly followed by their debut, self-titled album later that year, spawning the unlikely viral TikTok hit ‘I’m Just A Cat.’
As the trio set about recording their second full-length album, they decided their group was missing something crucial and after some soul-searching reached out with what they thought was a shot-in-the-dark request to a musician and singer they hugely admired – Rachel Haden.
Haden, a founding member of That Dog and The Haden Triplets, respected solo artist and collaborator of artists including Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Anais Mitchell, Todd Rundgren and many others, reacted positively to the pitch from the guys in the UK, who promptly set about writing an album of songs with Haden and her iconic voice in mind.
Working remotely between Pepper’s studio in Cambridge and Haden’s base in LA, the group began their international collaboration, writing and recording this fantastic collection of 12 new songs. An ambitious and sonically varied record, this new album effortlessly shifts from the classic alt-rock of ‘I Have A Name’ to the gorgeous balladry of ‘Lost In London’ all the way to the crushing guitars and cinematic atmospherics of new single ‘10 League Boots’
‘10 League Boots’ is the first single to be heard from the anthem and is a bold opening statement from the group. Featuring a chorus that would be at home on any of the iconic alt-rock albums of Haden’s past, ‘10 League Boots’ is a three-minute blast of anthemic, clever songwriting and shows the group at the peak of their powers.
Featuring additional contributions from LA studios Sea Grass Studios & Spirit Kid Sound, as well as English musician Boo Hewerdine, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljunggren, lyrics inspired by Haden’s Jazz legend father Charlie Haden and the blessing of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo to interpolate their song ‘Surf Wax America’ – the album is a tribute to the possibilities of the global sharing of ideas. Each track bouncing between countries and continents, heading to its next destination richer and more developed – ‘Simon and The Astronauts’ is an unlikely cast of characters hailing from a wide variety of musical backgrounds and traditions – and all the better for it.
‘Simon and The Astronauts’ will be released via the band’s own imprint on 22nd April 2022 with the possibility of summer tour dates on the horizon.
LP Out April 22