From Guelph, Canada, comes a blossoming singer-songwriter and contemporary rock recording artist Chris Simonato with his years-in-the-making debut 10-track album, 'That Night In June.'
Inspired by Queen's guitarist Brian May and other greats of the 70s and 80s, Chris Simonato started taking guitar lessons at a young age and later graduated from Fanshawe College with a diploma in music production. After spending a decade behind the microphone working through original pieces, he began working on his first full-length album over a period of three years.
The result was his debut record, 'That Night In June,' which helps new listeners get to know Simonato's dynamic tunes and explorative instrumentals that range from contemporary rock to twangy country. Without further ado, let's take the record for a spin.
Beginning our journey into the album, we're met with the exciting intro track "The Rain," which kicks off with a groovy rhythm guitar and warm contemporary rock instrumentals that set the reflective tone perfectly. Chris Simonato takes his time to deliver such introspective lyrics about spending nights lying awake and hearing the rain dance on the rooftop. And when these lonely nights roll around, Simonato can't help but think of someone special while comparing the falling rain to his broken dreams. The song's production and instrumentals perfectly keep the groove alive while adding another in-depth layer of sonic emotion.
Moving into track number two, "Emerald Sky," this lively tune kicks off with the brightest contemporary rock instrumentals that slow down and bring us into a feel-good 80s rock experience that oozes with passion and anticipation. Listening to Chris Simonato's loving words, he begins touching on how someone appeared out of nowhere and swooned him with her emerald sky eyes. Although Simonato uses this song to express his affection for this person, he keeps us tapping our feet to his dynamic and refreshing rock instrumentals that shine like the first ray of the morning sun.
Nothing more than a regular "Thursday Afternoon" rolls around on track number three, but this time, Chris Simonato uses the intro to deepen the album's emotion while singing of waiting to see someone special. This song's down-tempo feel perfectly enhances the ballad-like atmosphere, especially as the warm organs and passionate rhythm guitar continue drifting through our speakers. Chris Simonato continues to describe those refreshing moments of reacquainting oneself with a lover and not being able to find the words to describe his contentment.
Moving over to track number four, "I Need to Know," Chris Simonato opens the song with his lush acoustic guitar picking and soft vocals that wonder if someone's love is here to stay. As we make our way over to the chilling hook, Chris Simonato is joined by the soothing vocal stylings of Mariah MacFarlane for an added boost of dynamic power and passion. We love the introspective feel of this song, and we're sure anyone can relate to Simonato and MacFarlane's lyrics that endlessly wonder if someone is who they say they are.
Landing on the album's halfway point with "Your Flame," Chris Simonato opens this song with another 80s pop-rock ballad-like instrumental that glitters and gleams with a piercing lead guitar and the warmest keys. As the tender acoustic guitar takes the verse alongside Chris Simonato's soothing vocals, he begins to wonder what's in store for a relationship that he hopes is here to stay. This is definitely one of the most passionate points of the album thus far, and the instrumentals perfectly back him up with their soft and melodic arrangements.
Onto the album's second half with "Over and Over Again," this track kicks off with a cinematic and animated piano melody while Chris Simonato tears back the heavy rock layers and jumps in with his crunchy rhythm guitar and mid-tempo drums. While passionately singing of wanting someone's love and yearning for it day after day, he grooves his way over to the anthemic hook and describes how his personality makes his heartburn with desire. We love this lustful and powerful track; it perfectly adds another thrilling bend down the album's dynamic path.
Keeping the album's brightness alive is track number seven, "The Moment," which opens with a radiant electric guitar, lush acoustic, and the warmest keys. Listening to Chris Simonato's lyrics, he takes his time to passionately deliver his thoughtful lyrics about feeling weak when in someone's presence and trying to get it together. Making our way to the easy-listening hook, Simonato perfectly captures those heartfelt and passionate moments of feeling lost in someone's presence while ramping up the instrumental's energy to match those exciting situations.
Pumping up the party is track number eight, "Show Me," which offers this magnetic and almost Barracuda-esque rhythm guitar riff to send us into the high-energy first verse. The overall country-rock instrumentals bring the song into another exhilarating space while Chris Simonato yearns for someone to show him what love really feels like. This is another song that's a treat for the ears and incredibly balanced, meaning it's a joy to feast your ears on such a cohesive arrangement and one that comes out the gate swinging with a passionate message of devotion.
Turning things down a notch with the ninth track, "If You Could Ever Love Me," this song takes us by the hand with soulful acoustic guitar melodies, a tender piano, and Chris Simonato's honest words that ask someone for the complete and utter truth to put his mind at ease. This is definitely one of the most vulnerable songs on the album, and we can't help but feel chills when Simonato confesses his love for someone special in this utmost endearing way. The soothing and dreamy instrumentals perfectly lift us to the outro while maintaining all the passion and emotion Simonato sings with.
Reaching the album's tenth and final track, "Just Like Yesterday," the outro track launches us into this feel-good space with upbeat acoustic guitar riffs, a blistering rhythm guitar, and thumping mid-tempo drum breaks. Chris Simonato takes this song to continue expressing his love for someone special and describing their every way, which, unfortunately, he sees as they're walking away. This is nothing new to Chris Simonato, who chooses to let them walk away due to the nerves he feels when in their presence. But one thing's for sure, Simonato will remain enthralled by the person for far longer than he expected.
Experience pure passion and heartfelt compositions within Chris Simonato's 10-track album, 'That Night In June,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Chris Simonato. We are so impressed with the passion and honesty you've brought to your debut album, 'That Night In June.' Do you remember what inspired you to create this record?
I had most of the songs written and really was tired of not trying to do anything with them. Playing cover songs can be fun, but eventually, favorite as a musician who wants to move forward, I think you have to start playing your own music. I knew the songs could be more than just chords and lyrics in my head. I am really proud of how it turned out!
Which song from 'That Night In June' is the most personal and special to you? What makes that song so meaningful?
All of the songs are special to me in some way, but the song Your Flame is probably the most meaningful to me because I wrote it for the wonderful woman who is now my wife! However, my personal favorite song on the record is The Rain. There is just something about that song that I love. It was the first song recorded for the record, and I still smile every time I hear it.
What sort of experience did you want to bring listeners through when hitting play on the album 'That Night In June'? What emotions or thoughts did you want to evoke in your audience?
I wanted them to be able to picture what is happening in each song through the lyrics. Musically I hope listeners are reminded of the music they would have enjoyed back in the 80s and 90s. I think the arrangements on each song were successful at doing this.
Did you work alongside any producers or fellow musicians when bringing 'That Night In June' to life? Is there anyone you'd like to shout out to? The record would not have been possible without Charlie McEvoy (https://www.instagram.com/charlie_mcevoy/). He owns and operates In Tune Audio in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. He was my co-producer. He also mixed and mastered the record and played any piano or organ parts on the songs. He also did a great job of making sure that my performances on all the other parts were the best they could be.
How does 'That Night In June' differ from your forthcoming album 'Look Beyond The Imperfections?
I think you can hear a lot of 80s and 90s influence on That Night in June. It also is a very ballad-driven record with themes around love or admiration. Look Beyond the Imperfections will have a more edgy, driven feel to it. Overall it will be a more upbeat modern approach to my style. It will also be my first attempt at doing a record completely on my own. INSTAGRAM