Fish Out Of Water
Written in my New York Lower East-side apartment in 1993, the simple acoustic version released in 2005, on the HOBOHEMIA album, has been one of my most streamed songs. And rarely do I play a concert without including it in the set.
I have always wanted to do a band arrangement; I recorded a version in Brighton in 2011, with my then four piece band, but was never happy with the results. As I never throw anything away, this year I re-visited the recordings and decided to complete the track.
Adding a flute, violin & accordion to the arrangement gave me the sonic world I was looking for - in my mind's ear I heard a ramshackle Irish bar-band. What has come out of the studio is not that - but perhaps a more lilting, slightly melancholic ballad that, I think, brings the song closer to how I play it live these days - almost 30 years after writing it. After all - "life would be easier if you just settle down...." but hey - that's never going to happen to a restless artist like me…
The Glittering Prize
A gypsy-fuelled clarinet, a folk-dancey cajon, guitars, banjo, psychedelic recorders and a soaring uplifting chorus! An ironic commentary on my own failings & foibles. My summer single (in March...)!
The song began life as a very basic sketch towards the end of the Make Us Happy album sessions in 2016. Featuring Paul Walker on Clarinet & Javier Forero on Cajon. In 2021 I completely re-arranged the recorded percussion and clarinet around the newly completed song. Technology eh??
Only With The Heart
Something rather different - a duet with the wonderful voice of Amy Kakoura.
"Only With The Heart" - released December 11th 2020. This is a song from a bigger project - a full 2 Act, 14 song stage Musical based on “The Little Prince” by Saint-Exupéry, for which I’ve written the music.
Live at Ty Blues
"The six tracks on the album clock in at just under 30 minutes and leave you wishing there was more. Simon has a wealth of songs from albums through the years and maybe one day there will be a longer live album which includes more of those brilliant tracks...this release is an opportunity to hear Simon play and enjoy the absolute strength of his live performance." - review from View From A Bay. Recorded 21st February at Ty Blues Garage, Mûr-de-Bretagne, France. Featuring Christian Lefievre on accordion & Leañdr Gwindourdezhi on percussion. The recordings were for a live video shoot - you can view the videos on Youtube here.
It Really Is A Pity
"Genre-defying, retro-futuristic, or just plain anar-chronistic - a surprising and entrancing new release from Simon Scardanelli which takes the listener on a voyage to a mysterious point in spacetime. Early influences of Kraftwerk, Briano Eno, and Vangelis glimmer through the track. Imagine Daleks - but sensitive, and vulnerable. A constellation of strange, familiar, and beautiful sounds create an enthralling dimensionality. As the aliens announce their necessary departure (probably something to do with the ‘dangerous mad men in charge’) the drop will have you dancing to your own damnation and wishing these aliens well as they get the hell out of Dodge. Can I come with? - Rosina Brookes - blogger.
God Gave You Such A Winning Smile
First release in a series to come "From the Archives" - Recorded during sessions with Mickey Sparrow on drums at Pacific Studios, St Pauls, Birmingham UK during late summer of 2004. The lyrics were around 70% written in 2004, and were completed in 2020. The guitar & Hammond organ are as they were recorded in ’04. I've just added a bit of bass guitar, and of course re-done what was an incomplete vocal. Mixed & mastered in Harrison Mixbus 32-C
The Rock, the Sea, the Rising Tide
"The Rock, the Sea, the Rising Tide is a mature and contemplative listen. Simon takes on the mantle of the balladeer, a storytelling troubadour, regaling us with intriguing tales of high seas and adventure, darkness and human frailty, global catastrophe and personal doubt. This is a carefully considered body of work." Geoff Wilbur's Music Blog
"Patience is a virtue that I never had time to learn
I’ve been too busy making up for lost time to wait my turn
my best foot forward means the other one drags behind
and I’d be one step ahead of the game if I could only find
the starting line..."
radio friendly edit of the song from the Rock, the Sea, the Rising Tide
Dedicated to all the climate change deniers, disaster capitalists, and assorted head in the sand folk who can't see what's a-coming. First single from the album the Rock, the Sea, the Rising Tide. Watch the video here.
Shooting From My Heart
Almost 30 years after Simon & Shark released Shooting From My Heart as Big Bam Boo, Simon has recorded and released this lovely, raw, totally acoustic & unique re-interpretation of the song that reached the US AOR top 20, the top 20 in Canada, and nudged low chart positions in the UK & Australia. Watch the video here.
First recording from the new studio in Brittany, France. A simple guitar and voice track, live in the studio. This is also the first recording featuring the wonderful Furch RD34-SR guitar, with which I replaced my Martin D76. I'd owned the D76 since 1988, but felt it was time for a change. Watch a live video performance here.
Not With A Bang
Written and recorded in 30 minutes on the evening of Friday 11th August 2017. A crazy week of madness and megalomania from the Trump. Originally I set out to just film myself on the iPad performing the song, to upload immediately to Facebook - but I'd set up another microphone in the studio in case I wanted to improve the sound of the video. The sound wasn't great - the microphone wasn't really in the right place to get a good balance with guitar and voice. However, after a bit of playing around I added in the audio from the iPad video - with some added reverb and crafty EQ I came up with what I think is an acceptable "live" performance track. Watch the video here.
Jesus & The Moon
A look at life from the gutter to the road, and back again. An itinerant musician all my life, I was inspired to write this whilst recalling a time back in the 90s when I found myself lying in the gutter at 5am in the Lower East Side of New York City, with the rather large boot of a crack-head mugger holding my head down, whilst his partner rifled through my pockets…
Make Us Happy
"This is the 4th solo album from this indie/folk maverick and he’s quickly into his groove here with a kind of Because Of You-era Dexy’s Midnight Runners vibe, toes-a-tapping and accordions, fiddle, cajon, clarinet, soprano sax, guitars and mandolin very much to the fore. It’s a lovely melange of sounds and arranged quite beautifully making for an arresting listening. Bravo." The Crack Magazine
Watch the title track video here.
Talk About Glory
"A rumbustious ramshackling ride through the fertile imagination of Simon Scardanelli, who manages to name check Duncan Bannatyne & Vladimir Putin whilst wishing he was someone else. Accordions, Cajon, Turkish Cumbus, Fiddle and a twanging Bass launch this fun slice of irony and observation in a perfect pop-folk ditty. Think Squeeze in an Egyptian souk - or 3 Daft Monkeys on steroids." - anon.
Watch the video here.
One of several songs recorded at the Lodge sessions of 2007 - "Alien State of Mind" was released as a single in 2008, "White Water Rafting", "In Honour" & "We'll Go Home" were released as the EP "Three Dances With Sam" in August 2014. There are two remaining songs from the sessions which may or may not be released.
Rhythm section recorded November 2007 at The Lodge, Northampton. Completed January 2015 at Vi-ViD, Brighton.
Three Dances With Sam
White Water Rafting - Jonny Miller - Bass, Alex Thomas - Drums
Fred Gregory - Mandoline
In Honour - Jonny Miller - Bass, Alex Thomas - Drums, Mark Edwards - Piano
We'll Go Home - Jonny Miller - Bass, Alex Thomas - Drums
Rhythm section recorded November 2007 at The Lodge, Northampton. EP completed May 2014 at Vi-ViD, Brighton.
Dark Dog Days
Recorded in 2012 in a scruffy basement in Brighton, UK, and released in 2013 under the DR SCARDO name, the album languished, poorly mixed, in the far corners of Spotify until 2020 when Simon completely re-mixed and re-mastered what is fast becoming one of his most popular albums. Brought back into the Scardanelli catalogue, and featuring James Stathatos on Bass, Si Early on Keyboards, and Alvaro Hurtado on Drums. Cover from a painting by Mark Welsh.
In 2011, I watched a documentary on the BBC about soldiers fighting in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Shot mostly via cameras fitted to the soldiers helmets, the program offered an visceral account of life on the front line. In the episode I watched, a 19 year old soldier was killed, hit by a bullet that found a slight gap in the body armour he was wearing. This terribly sad and moving event stayed with me, and a couple of weeks later I wrote "Sweet Sixteen".
A Portfolio of Electro-acoustic & Acousmatic Compositions
"The concert closed with some genuine industrial music. Simon Scardanelli's de(re)construction literally built up from Digbeth factory thrashings, clankings and clumpings, with true-life-of-a-foreman interviews rising up from the decibel crush, the participants very wary of the Millennium Point media-focused makeover driving out the old grimy factories. This was clearly the best fulfilment of the City Scape brief." - Martin Longley, Birmingham Post. Premiered 16th November 2000 at the CBSO Centre Birmingham
Simon was awarded his PhD in Musical Composition from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 2010. Studying under Jonty Harrison
Alien State of Mind
That Dangerous Sparkle
"Conceived on an epic scale this CD proves a real surprise. Once a hit maker as half of pop-rockers Big Bam Boo, Scardanelli has been emersed in serious music study over the past decade, following a period of living in New York composing installation works for art events and scores for experimental films. This is ambitious stuff that demands serious attention."
Sid Cowens - Properganda Magazine June July 2007
"Pretty much stripped back to acoustic strummed basics and Scardanelli's slightly nasal tones there's plenty here to engage and enfold with songs that pitch into downbeat takes on politics, love and social issues, be it be the depressing urban vision of ‘A Town Called Iron Strike’ where he sounds like an anti-Martyn Joseph, the angry homeless-lined streets of the largely spoken ‘Why?’, or the despairing folk blues ‘My Punishment’ which evokes the early work of Roy Harper." Mike Davies, Birmingham101.