CD review: DON'T ASK YOUR EYES WHAT THE END LOOKS LIKE
By: Dan Brisebois
The 2008 debut from Simon Walls is twelve songs of passion and tenderness that rely on the Toronto artist's ability to paint a picture of varied emotions in a slick, predominately acoustic environment. If every song has a story and every note has something to say, DON'T ASK YOUR EYES WHAT THE END LOOKS LIKE is a collection of chapters of his life, told with conviction, compassion, and honesty.
Recorded in May of 2007, the multi-instrument musician also serves as main producer and principal songwriter. The only instruments you'll hear are his acoustic guitar and the frequent piano arrangements, but it's that simplicity that makes DON'T ASK YOUR EYES a treasure. Supporting strong vocal harmonies, songs like "This Is Way Too High," Morning Comes So Fast," and "Above Everything Else" recant the different aspects of the importance of hanging on to relationships, and making them work.
"You'll Get The Best of Me" and "Something Good" are the flip side to the relationship's pain and suffering coin. If pain and sorrow are the dark cloud hovering over a relationship, these songs offer hope and show a glimpse of the silver lining.
He's been featured on MusiquePlus and has toured consistently throughout Ontario and Quebec for several years now, and that time has been spent writing some of the most personally intimate music in recent memory, and he has a lot to draw from. While in high school, he learned of a friend's suicide, a schocking, new outlook on life at an early age. Shortly thereafter, he learned about Katimavik, a non-profit society dedicated to community enhancement, which led him to volunteering at schools, hospitals and camps. He's also a talented and emerging artist on the independent scene, having served as a music teacher for the Tim Horton's Children's Foundation. It's this wide array of experiences that fuel his musical fire.
"Things I Will Give Up" take you on a personal journey of coming to a crossroad in a relationship, the music video for which was shot while on a personal journey crossing Spain by foot. Even that experience came as a result of soul searching, after studying karma, Tai-Chi, and even taking to reading the Bible to help find his way. Once he arrived back home, he tacked the largest map of Canada he could find on his livingroom wall, and from there decided to walk across the country while spreading the word about Free The Children, another not for profit organization.