E.J. Simpson’s You Purple Virgin Presents Fabulous Fantasy kicks off with the haunting and evocative “StrangeBird (If Beautiful)” and reflects its origin as it was written somewhere on the island of Martha’s Vineyard on an overcast and introspective day while the songwriter was on tour with Maggi, Pierce And E.J. Segueing neatly into the groove heavy, “Haré Haré,” which initially sprung from a memory of a long-ago correspondence from co-producer Adrian Harpham (whose friendship dates back to their boyhoods). “Woven into the song is a bow to the late great Leonard Cohen and a tearful nod to the late Chris Cornell, says E.J. “There is also, in the choruses, the chanted and melodic invocation to the inspiration and the joy of the Maha Mantra!”
The cinematic journey and rumination on existence, “Well-Constructed Illusion” was emphasized by a friend of the songwriter who blurted out, “my life is a well-constructed illusion!” “Yea,” E.J. agreed, “that’s the thing- ALL of ours are really! They certainly are finite. They are fleeting They can be fraught and that can be frightening… And also, they are free to become fantastic and fabulous!”
“Slice” begins with a phaser heavy synth riff and poses the question, “if our entire personality and personhood were a full pie, into how many little slices do we divide that pie and with how many people or how few, do we share them? And which slice or slices do we share?”
The lyrics for “Vista Room” were scribbled on a napkin on a cross country train voyage. “It is pretty much a literal telling of what happened between San Francisco and Reno, Nevada on the U.S. Rails of this adventuresome America.”
The title track sits neatly as the first track on the second side of the vinyl, with a funky bass riff and a chorus of E.J.’s voice exclaims, “having recently abandoned my search for truth, I am looking for a Fabulous Fantasy.” This statement becomes the album’s thesis and highlights the songwriter’s slinky playing and the producer’s orchestral, psychedelic arrangement.
The gentle, “Used to Be Easy” is the witnessing of a relationship dissolving, reporting it as best can be told from the sidelines, a vantage point that song writers often will co-opt. E.J.’s soaring vocals are reminiscent of Grace era Jeff Buckley – emotional, lamenting, and sincere.
“It’s Almost A Thing” begins with a crashing cymbal and the songwriter declaring, “it’s almost a thing…” “At some point, your thought or idea or relationship crosses over some line in the psychic sand and it is either forgotten forever or it blossoms brilliantly and beautifully,” says E.J. “The title is that line in the psychic sand.”
“I remember writing ‘Dae Fluttered Bi’ in my mother’s kitchen,” E.J. recalls. “It was a kind of moody day and I remember missing a party or something and that got a poem started. The changed-her-dress line always reminded me of that Talking Heads lyric and ‘Sabotage’ is indeed, ‘just a sing along’ and a shout out to the Beastie Boys. There are also quotes from two of my mighty music touchstones, Björk and John Lennon, and their uniquely artistic reflections on renunciation and divinity and beauty.”
“Musically, I was hearing a salsa montuno approach and I feel that the piano with the drums and percussion, plus those horns – really got it there,” he continues. “It is of this song that Grammy winning Phil Nicolo (who has worked with legends and greats) said ‘this sounds cool – I’m gonna make a copy to listen to when I get home!’ A higher compliment would be scarce!”
The album closes with “Well Con Illu” – “a reprise and a bridge extension, a flashback and a shimmering light shone upon a lovely and lilting harmony that is cascading like smoke and, indeed, an excellent place for a tabla solo,” exclaims E.J. “It’s also the buzzword for the catch phrase for the concept of the strongly fabricated fallacy that pervades our minds for these nuevo dark ages of yestermorrow. It’s also the title of a forthcoming series.”
Based in Philadelphia, E.J. Simpson is a several instrumentalist who not only fronts his all original You Purple Virgin band, he also performs his unique, hilarious and inspired solo interpretation of the beloved of Jesus Christ Superstar every spring, and has brought this performance all over the country for the past 17 years. This year’s single performance date is April 21 in South Philadelphia Old Swedes.
He can also be seen on stages is all over the Philly and New York areas, most notably with the legendary legacy, Philadelphia band Beru Revue and with Boris Garcia. He leads a number of tribute performances including David Bowie, (4lads’ Insane), Grateful Dead, (No Fire on The Mountain), Sergeant Pepper (in full costume regalia), Johnny Cash Night, The Monkees and more.
E.J. sings and plays, bass, guitar, mandolin, mandola, ukulele, bandorria, the gong, organ, piano, percussion as well as teaches. He sings on stages and clubs, theaters, bars, temples, churches, rooms, studios, and showers.
Up next for E.J. will be the follow up album to Fabulous Fantasy – a long awaited “December” themed album, his covers release and an adaptation of a Mark twain piece with orchestration and ballet.
Don’t Miss EJ Simpson Live!
Find EJ Simpson Online:Official: https://www.ejsimpsonmusic.com