Continuing with our brand new feature, ‘My 5 Biggest Influences’, we’re talking to some of our favourite upcoming and established artists, and delving into their greatest influences and inspirations, to see how bands, records, tracks, friends & family, hobbies and even environments have impacted on their work and music
Our latest guest is the fantastic Greenlandic/Scandinavian singer-songwriter Simon Lynge, who today releases his new single Age Of Distraction, the first song from his brand new album Deep Snow. More about the track and record below, but first, here are Simon’s 5 Biggest Influences…
It’s the village in Southern Greenland where four generations of my father’s side of the family come from. We moved there from Denmark when I was five years old and the years spent there have shaped my life immensely. I was essentially a wild kid roaming free in the beautiful stark Greenlandic landscape from when I woke up until I went to bed. I threw rocks on the beach, I played with and helped herd the many sheep that were all over, I went fishing and hunting with my dad; it was a magical time. Alluitsoq feels like it’s been my home for several lifetimes, although it’s only been that for a few years in this one.
These days only five people call Alluitsoq home, but it is still my dream to live there again one day.
Simon & Garfunkel – The Concert In Central Park
I discovered this album when I was 14 and living with my mother in Denmark. I had just started playing guitar and fell in love with the songs and harmonies. I would stand and look out my window in my room after I got home from school and listen to this album over and over, singing along and reaching for the high notes in Bridge Over Troubled Water. My parents had divorced and my father had moved to Greenland and I was in a lot of emotional pain – this album helped me feel joy and escape into a lighter place. Paul Simon’s solo work later also became a big influence on my songwriting.
My then girlfriend and current wife, Janna, introduced me to Elliott Smith in 2004 when I was first spending time with her in LA. I immediately connected with the lush melodic nature of his music and his confessional style of lyric writing. I admire his honesty and willingness to express his difficulty in life. It’s a delicate balance to create art from that dark place and not be swallowed up by it, as it did Elliott. I struggle with that myself; the urge and compulsion to share my experience with depression and anxiety without giving it too much energy and magnifying it unnecessarily. My new album Deep Snow is the first time I’ve really had the courage to express my whole being without trying to come across in a certain way and it’s very liberating.
Meeting Janna was a pivotal moment in my life. Not only did it cause me to move to LA from Copenhagen, but it opened up my world and perception of reality. She’s a very gentle spirit with a tender and compassionate heart and her acceptance and support of me has helped me to heal many old wounds. She’s also a superb singer, songwriter and painter with a sharp wit and strong opinions about everything from poetry to politics. We write songs together, perform and record together and we have two boys Django and Tashi, who are bright sparks in the world.
Five Leaves Left was the first album I discovered by him while I was living in Copenhagen. His guitar playing, melodic freedom and poetic lyrics took me to a different dimension and it made me realize how artistic freedom is truly absolute. The only rules that apply to creation are what your soul will allow and what resonates with your heart. The string arrangement for River Man is the single greatest string arrangement for a song I’ve ever heard; truly transcendent. Subtlety is so lacking in today’s instant gratification world and it’s something Nick Drake was a true master of. I don’t know why I love so many artists that left us far too soon; I guess I love the oddball, the outsider, the underdog and the underappreciated.
Lynge’s fourth LP Deep Snow will be released on 23rd November and is a collaboration with long-time friend and musical partner, Richard Lobb. The album was recorded in a secluded cottage in the green hills of Wales and in the eclectic atmosphere of London’s Narcissus Studios
Having spent his early years as a shepherd boy in the Greenland tundra, nature and life’s fragility are never far from Simon’s lyrics and this beautiful new track is no exception: “I just wanted to acknowledge the underlying anxiety of existence in this age and the longing for connection that I believe is so pervasive in modern humans,” explains Lynge. “We have instant access to information, but our knowledge of the source of a meaningful life is at an all-time low. We look out of our eyes and forget to observe with our heart”
Take a listen to Simon’s new single Age Of Distraction, below…
Find Simon Lynge at simonlyngemusic.com