Brickell Finds New Sound in The Heavy Circles

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The Heavy Circles (300)

Harper Simon and Edie Brickell are The Heavy Circles. Echo Danon and Coke O’Neal hide caption

itoggle caption Echo Danon and Coke O’Neal

In 1989, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians had a big hit with "What I Am." The song featured a gentle and infectious groove that propelled Brickell to fame.

Around that time, she performed "What I Am" on Saturday Night Live and spied singer Paul Simon standing next to the cameraman; Brickell and Simon ended up marrying in the early '90s. Now, she's teamed up with her stepson, Harper Simon, to form The Heavy Circles. With its dark harmonies and edgy indie-rock sound, Brickell finds herself operating in a brand new context.

Simon asked Brickell to jam in the studio one afternoon, and Brickell says she knew right away this was what she'd been seeking for a long time. The recording developed organically, according to Simon, due in part to Brickell's natural ear for improvisation.

"He produced a record I always wanted to be a part of," Brickell says. "I wanted to sing on a record that had great grooves and beautiful sounds, and I never knew how to get them."

Both musicians profess a strong respect for each other's talents. Simon's direct approach to songwriting and production, combined with Brickell's versatile voice, made for immediate chemistry.

In addition to closely working with each other, Simon used the recording sessions to bring in friends he'd always wanted to record. Their debut includes contributions from Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, and members of Cibo Matto, among others.

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