Miss Molly Simms to Release 'Borrowed or Sold' EP on Record Store Day 2016
One of the strongest voices in the St. Louis music scene, Miss Molly Simms, will be releasing “Borrowed or Sold,” a four-song EP this Saturday, April 16 at 2:30pm at Euclid Records. It’s a special day for music-lovers, and a national holiday—Record Store Day.
“We know that Record Store Day is not just our show. It’s about being in a community,” singer-songwriter Molly Simms explains. “It’s your chance to support local music and local business.”
Simms spent two years working at Euclid, making RSD an occasion that is near and dear to her heart. “Those guys are my family,” she says of the staff, mentioning Steve Pick, who hosts Sound Salvation on KDHX. Since, Simms has taken over as general manager at the School of Rock Kirkwood and Ballwin locations. (You can catch some of the School of Rock kids performing just before Miss Molly Simms on Saturday).
“I’ve been very busy, but I wanted to put this music out into the universe, so I pushed myself to make it happen,” Simms says. “One song I wrote just a week ago. When you’re working on a budget and on a crunch for time, you’re going to do your best to make things happen quickly,” she says.
“Borrowed or Sold” was recorded in just two days out of Loudhouse Studios off Cherokee Street. “Studios are about vibe,” Simms says. “The best studios I’ve been in had a great vibe. And a great studio has a dog—and Zagk [Loudhouse engineer, Zagk Gibbons] has Kingsley [a 70-pound German shepherd]. All the best engineers I’ve worked with had dogs.”
This EP is the second solo release for Simms. She has also released two records with her rockabilly outfit, Bible Belt Sinners, and one with Al Holiday and the East Side Rhythm Band. “These days Bible Belt Sinners aren’t gigging as much,” she says. “I’m definitely focusing on my solo stuff.”
After seeing her on stage today, you would never believe Simms’ first time performing—at Stagger Inn’s open mic night—included a lot of nerves and a fifty-dollar bribe from her father. “Ever since then, I never had to look back,” she says. “It was always easy after that.”
From there, Simms spent time down in Houston, Texas. At 18, Simms was gigging all day long—or at least trying to with help from her aunt, a friend of Carolyn Wonderland (who Molly actually opened for last year here in St. Louis).
“I would do bluegrass in the morning, blues jam at night, then Last Concert Cafe had an open mic that Jimmy Dean ran. That’s how I cut my teeth; I’d sign up on the list,” Simms says. “But it’s different in Houston than in St. Louis,” she explains. “It’s not in order. If you’re new, they’re probably going to make you play at 2:30am, even if you got there early. Sometimes I’d wait until 2:30a, and they’d throw me up there with a bunch of musicians who couldn’t keep time. You know, you have to earn your respect. Eventually, after going there for a month or so they would give me a better time slot and better players.”
The title of this EP, “Borrowed or Sold,” comes from a line in her song “Estella.” Estella is a character from the Charles Dickens novel, “Great Expectations.” Simms’ good friend always said her first love reminded her of the character, and it stuck with Simms ever since. Other songs from “Borrowed or Sold” include, “Real Good Man”—a Motown, soul song written as an apology—and “Let Me Down”—a song about “getting over your own baggage.”
As far as writing goes, Simms explains, “I work on melodies usually first. I’ll be in the car, and if I think of something while I’m driving, I just put it down on the recorder on my phone. I think a person that writes songs always thinks their most recent thing is the best, and hopefully that’s true,” she says of this EP, “I hope that I’ll always be evolving.”
Saturday’s performance and EP release is really a sneak peek at this hard-working gal’s new material. Simms plans to put together an intimate release party for “Borrowed or Sold” this summer at the South Broadway Athletic Club, where she will also be screening a new music video for her song “One Way Ticket”—which includes vintage cars, local bar scenes and a dangerous leading lady. Miss Molly Simms and band will also be playing at this year’s RibFest on May 29 and will hopefully have some vinyl available for purchase at some point in the near future!
To keep up with Miss Molly Simms, check out her website and follow her on Facebook. Don’t forget: 2:30pm at Euclid Records, you can hear Miss Molly Simms new EP “Borrowed or Sold” this Saturday, April 16.