In the artist’s debut release ‘Remnants of a Thought’, Derry born Simon Herron, who found viral success with 2013 singles ‘All You Know’ and ‘A September Song’, develops his signature brand of deeply personal and melancholic alt-folk. The long-awaited project sees Herron re-establish his talent for constructing haunting, lo-fi tracks featuring moving and unique vocal performances.
With Herron exploring themes of mental health struggles throughout the project, opening track ‘Be a Hero’ serves as an intimate and haunting opening moment. Tender vocals and delicate guitars combine for an experience which is both sombre and reflective, with Herron immediately greeting the listener with a level of disillusionment and dejection that will continue throughout. “I’ll be a saviour of the all… no that’s not me, I’m just a fool”
‘Remember This’ and ‘Now I’ve Closed My Eyes’ offer a continuation in many of the melancholic themes, offering prolonged moments of despair and pessimism. The former laced with sinister guitar, with major tonal shifts always lingering just below the slow-burning verses. ‘Now I’ve Closed My Eyes’ sees some of the finest song writing on the album, building to a colossal climax.
‘Low’ furthers the shift in urgency. Experimental vocal production and crashing instrumentals mirror Herron’s change in attitude that is present on the track, suddenly moments of optimism, positivity and loyalty are found amongst the melancholy, “you’ll be a winner”. The sudden shifting demeaner and instrumental peaks offer some of the most intriguing and moving moments on the project, and showcases another compelling side to Herron’s song writing.
The twinkly ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ and stripped back ‘For a Minute’ bring the album back to its cynical, slow-burning roots, while ‘Faded from the Sun (Borders)’ sees Herron emotionally exploring individuality and anxiety, with references to being a ’foreigner’, the track offers a moving analysis of isolation and belonging.
The nostalgic ‘Hellespont’ incapsulates the essence of the album, self referentially remarking “So Hero, don’t be weary”. Defiance and optimism in the face of adversity is also found in album closer ‘When This Falls’. The final tracks show Herron at his warmest, leaving ‘Remnants of a Thought’ on a hopeful note following an emotionally heavy journey.
In his first full length project, Herron has crafted an encapsulating experience, with often poetically haunting lyricism and delicate vocal performances proving why the songwriter’s brand of indie-folk is so highly acclaimed.