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Simon Flory Announces 'Young Giants' EP

The upcoming EP, Young Giants, is set for release on July 22.

Simon Flory Announces 'Young Giants' EP

"We all have the potential to become giants in our own right," Simon Flory says of his upcoming EP, Young Giants, set for release on July 22.

The collection's title is not only a reference to the wealth of self-confidence that lives in each of us but also a nod to where the set of five songs was recorded (and Flory's adopted hometown): "It's a title that encompasses the thematic stories found on the EP, but Fort Worth, Texas, was also once known as 'The Young Giant of the Prairie.'"

For anyone familiar with Flory's music, this tie-in to the past makes complete sense: Flory's music is suffused with the elements of his childhood - he was raised in rural Indiana, part of a family that moved "west" to start a livestock feed store - his music is a stew of early country, gospel, and the best of classic Nashville.

Even his guitar playing captures the rhythmic tumble of clawhammer banjo and Appalachian fiddle (on both of which he's adept), and his vocal phrasing carries inflections from the Carter Family to Eddie Cochran to Hank Williams.

The EP's first single is out now; "Little Oak Tree" was written with the many women in Flory's life in mind: "I know that I can only tell stories from my limited perspective, but I think the hymnal of American hero worship should be rewritten to highlight the stories of the uniquely creative, hard-working, and determined women so integral to our society and culture," he says.

Young Giants was recorded at 7013 Studios by Grant Jackson Wilburn (Ryan Bingham, Red Shahan) with a group of Flory's close friends who he's always dreamed of creating music with, and tracked (mostly) live in one room: Zach Moulton (Mike and the Moonpies) on pedal steel; Andy Rogers (The Wilder Blue) on upright bass, mandolin, banjo, vocals; Ginny Mac on background vocals, accordion and piano; and Morris Holdahl on guitar and vocals.

"Don't Shake Me Lucifer" kicks off the EP with a bluegrass-tinged cover of a Roky Erickson song. "it's a song of our time, it's a song for any time of upheaval - of which we are in a constant state in Texas, through legislative action to curb the rights of working-class people, immigrants, and women," Flory says. "Roky's well-documented life-long struggles don't belie his credibility as a songwriter -his persistence inspired me to include this song. He was always a giant and simultaneously a young giant."

"You Never See It Coming" was simultaneously inspired by Lou Reed's "Coney Island Baby," the death of Tom Petty, and a retelling of the many stories Flory's collected, set in Flory's early rural surroundings. "Okra Blossom" is an ode to Flory's favorite flower and his wife, as well: "I grew up making sorghum molasses - it can be bitter if you don't get the process right. Love is volatile, can be bitter, but always has the potential to be as perfect as my favorite flower: the okra blossom."

The EP ends on a somber note: "A Poem For Alex," is a tribute to a friend who passed away. "Performing this song at my friend's memorial was ultimately the reason we got together to record this music," Flory says. "Alex was forever young, and also a formidable giant. From his wealth of wisdom, empathy, and incredible ability to truly understand and communicate with people will forever inspire and perplex me. I'll always be a young giant compared to the outsized life Alex spent committed to his friends, family, and the greater world around him. Hear that roar on the second verse? That was a plane flying overhead during the live take of this track - right when we needed it. Just like Alex to come along at the right time."

After earning a degree in creative writing and theater from DePauw University, Flory moved to Chicago and founded the country band Merle The Mule while working as a multi-instrumentalist in an old-time duo and as an employee at the Old Town School of Folk Music. His first solo record, self-released Unholy Town, led him to Austin, TX, and co-founded the acclaimed Austin-based country-bluegrass group, High Plains Jamboree with Beth Chrisman, Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay.

Playing shows around Texas, touring throughout Scandinavia, the U.K., Europe, Alaska and the continental U.S., songwriting and studio sessions with artists including Charley Crockett, Summer Dean, Vincent Neil Emerson, and others, eventually led Flory to Fort Worth, TX. His most recent releases, 2019's LP Radioville and 2020's EP Songs From Paper Thin Lines garnered local acclaim, as did his poetry film, Paper Thin Lines.

2021's LP Haul These Blues Away found Flory's music compared to John Hartford, The Carter Family, Gillian Welch, and even the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. His short film version of the LP's single, "The More You Talk The Less I Hear" won "Best Short Short" at the 2021 Lonestar Film Festival.

Listen to the lead single here:

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