Premiere: We bring you an exclusive look at the new video from Simon Robert Gibson’s poignant track ‘The Old Ways’ from his forthcoming collection ‘These Shining Years’.

With a compilation of troubadour Simon Robert Gibson‘s first three solo albums on the way via the album ‘These Shining Years’, we are honoured to bring you the new video for the track ‘The Old Ways’ which features on the album.

Gibson is a pillar of the music scene in Sydney, having played in a number of local bands such as the legendary Disneyfist and The Aerial Maps. He is also an inveterate traveller and surfer, living in Vietnam for over a decade.

Gibson’s work has a deep veracity: raw, unadulterated and pure that continues a tradition in the Australian indie music scene: melodic and expressive songs that reflect the harsh landscapes and the sunny climes. The instrumentation is lush with crystal acoustic chimes. Gibson’s vocals have a proudly discernable Australian accent and he uses the local vernacular – resulting in a song that is brittle, vulnerable and direct.

There is a deep poignancy in this track – an aching fragility that is captured in the accompanying video as Gibson wanders through urban streets – walking to remember – the idea that everything is connected. That the past and the future connect through you in the present tense. Gibson says:

I love walking. I didn’t think many people (if any) had really written to show their appreciation of this most human of activities…so I did. I just find walking to be meditative and inspiring, and it seems to allow a connection to history of all the people who have walked on those streets, tracks, paths that you just cannot get from cars, buses, bikes etc.  The idea that everything really is connected to everything else throughout history really does seem obvious when walking.

Whenever I have a lot on my mind I find after a solid stretch of walking a little voice inside me says “don’t worry, you’ll be alright”, and generally, I am!

The cathartic nature of the activity seeps into the reflective nature of the track and the video – there is a calmative effect that captures Gibson’s inquisitive nature as he ambles through the high street and looks into the shop windows of a bustling town. They are the sights and signs of the mundanity of everyday life which creates an incredible sense of joy. There are shades of great antipodean story tellers in the sights and sounds – Paul Kelly, The Go-Betweens, The Apartments.

‘The Old Ways’ is out tomorrow (26 March) and will be available to download and stream via all the usual sites.

‘These Shining Years’, out on 19 April,  collects ten of Simon’s favourite songs from across his three solo albums, plus ‘Song For Gyn’, a tribute to his former bandmate and partner Gynia Favot. This is the first time Simon’s solo material has appeared on vinyl.

I’d been wanting to do a vinyl release for sometime as I’m a massive fan of the sound and feel, and I see the three solo records to date as almost companion pieces. I picked a cross section of songs from the three albums then re-ordered them as I would a stand alone album. As all the songs were recorded with Tim Kevin and the same players, musically and sonically I think it fits together well!

I also see the five years over which these songs were written as a distinct and unique era as it basically includes the Covid years and the immediate aftermath. At times these years were very tough but I also managed to produce some of my best work in this period…so in many ways creatively, for me at least, they are ’Shining Years’.

To concede with the release, Simon is also publishing a book of lyrics under the same title. It’s a beautiful collection of 30 songs, including single and album release artwork by Jen Huntley.

Obviously the album can only contain a limited number of songs but as all the songs are important to me and play a part in the overall body of work I decided a book of lyrics of all 30 songs was the perfect companion piece.

Both the vinyl album and lyric book will be available via Bandcamp.

Gibson will launch the album and lyric book at The Golden Barley Hotel in Enmore, Sydney on Saturday, 4 May 2024.

Discussing the themes that bind together the songs on the new compilation, Gibson explains:

I’ve often written about time passing; past travels, loves, heartbreaks and adventures, but I’ve always tried to look at those events as somehow being positive, they all helped shaped the present and in turn the future.

The idea for These Shining Years is basically that now is the time, the present is all we’ve got, and to try and see it as wonderful….that it’s at least as great as ‘the good old days’ and possibly even better!

This troubadour is a national treasure.

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