In the wake of a cross-country road trip, Adam Simons has launched a new project packed with melancholic Americana and 70's soft rock vibes. His debut EP Rain and Thunder is a stark contrast to the 80’s synth-powered sound of his other project Wanderer, which is on hiatus for the time being after a cryptic series of Instagram farewells. Unable to tour his latest release under Wanderer, Simons decided that now was a better time than ever to explore another sound, a sound that modernizes many of the Americana, rock, and folk artists that he listened to on the cassette player in his dad’s pickup truck growing up.
In addition to a cover of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend,” the record features three introspective and heartfelt originals that serve as the perfect backdrop for hours on the road surrounded by vast mountains, forests, and deserts. “Wherever the Wind Blows” is a gentle acoustic reminder of Simons’ own struggles in pursuing his dreams in music. “I’m the kind of person who over analyzes everything and tries to control every bit of everything all the time. It’s a reminder to myself that sometimes you’ve got to let go and things are going to work out the way they’re going to work out,” explains Simons. “You can’t always be fighting, like the lyrics says, you can’t always be swimming against the tide. It’s just going to kill you.” This sentiment is continued on “Life Moves so Fast,” a lament about our inability to hold onto time.
“Strawberry Moon” creates a Fleetwood Mac inspired mood, with loud harmonies and a full chorus of voices, tinged with the smooth western feel of a lap steel guitar. The nostalgia drenched track reflects on the feeling of wanting to chase somebody that you can’t quite reach but you have a feeling you’ll see them again.
Title track “Rain and Thunder” adds one last dash of existentialism at the end of the record, over a distinctly 70’s acoustic guitar melody. The song admits to the desire of wanting to start again, to run away to California and do something spontaneous and romantic. The faster time passes, the stronger we feel the desire to start over.
Simons’ road trip was spontaneous in this way, as he packed up his Jeep and hit the road for nearly a month, passing through Colorado, Missouri, Arkansas, and more. “Sometimes that’s where you find the best things,” says Simons. “You come across something you wouldn’t have normally.” He is a self-proclaimed over planner, but exploring forests and national parks (without planning ahead) gave him the reset he needed after a turbulent year, and he recorded new music in Denver and Nashville along the way. He hopes to have more new music by the beginning of next year.