Sylvie Simmons Taps Howe Gelb for Debut LP on Light in the Attic

Sylvie Simmons Taps Howe Gelb for Debut LP on Light in the Attic
Light in the Attic has uncovered its fair share of vintage treasure over the years (Rodriguez and Lewis included), but the label is now focusing on the heretofore undiscovered talents of music writer/journalist Sylvie Simmons. Her ukulele-driven Sylvie arrives October 28.

A press release explains that the veteran writer had been penning songs since she was a child. During her teens, Simmons tried to take the tunes onstage, but she explains in a statement that this was short-lived as she experienced "paralyzing, deer-in-the-headlights stage fright." Years later, Simmons began sharing songs with Giant Sand's Howie Gelb, sending the musician one song at a time. This eventually led to the pair conspiring together to make Sylvie.

Last year, Simmons hit the Wavelab Studio in Tucson, AZ, with Gelb handling production duties, as well as contributing guitar, synthesizers and piano. Upright bass was also supplied by Thoger Lund. The song cycle is said to present "sensual songs about love and love gone wrong," with Simmons uke work coming off "heartbroken."

"I'd always thought of the uke as a toy, a little handful of happiness, but not anymore," she expressed in a statement. "My first ukulele — in fact all my ukuleles — came to me by accident, under strange circumstances usually involving mysterious, vanishing men….A uke has a sad, fractured sweetness and a modesty. It doesn't try to impress you, it almost apologizes for being there."

You'll find the gentle strums and hushed vocal tones of "You Are in My Arms" down beneath Sylvie's tracklisting.

Since the late '70s, Simmons has written for the likes of Sounds, Kerrang, Rolling Stone, the Guardian and MOJO. She's also written liner notes for Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others. In addition to various non-fiction books, she delivered the Cohen biography I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen in 2012.


1. Moon Over Chinatown
2. My Lips Still Taste of You
3. Hard Act to Follow
4. Lonely Cowgirl
5. Town Called Regret
6. The Rose You Left Me
7. Midnight Cowboy
8. Life Goes Bad
9. Who Knows Where Time Goes
10. You Are In My Arms
11. Rhythm of the Rain
12. Midnight Cowboy (reprise)