Retro is the new album from Simon McKechnie – released by Bad Elephant Music on 19th March 2021. The title track Retro,
Comprised of four tracks – including the epic The Origin Of Species, with lyrics quoting directly from Charles Darwin’s magnum opus – Retro harks back to the good old days of progressive rock, albeit with Simon McKechie’s classical and jazz influences shining through at all points.
«I am very excited to be on board with the good people of Bad Elephant Music», says Simon McKechnie. «I look forward to working together to bring my latest album, Retro, to new audiences. I hope you enjoy it!! ».
«I have known Simon since I first heard From My Head To My Feet back in 2016», says BEM’s Martin Hutchinson. it!!».
«We’ve talked about working together for the last few years, and finally the stars have aligned. It’s our great pleasure to release Retro to a wider audience. I’m sure you’ll all absolutely love it!».
The Origin Of Species
I. The Face Of Nature
II. The Beagle
III. Natural Selection
IV. Struggle For Existence
V. The Struggle
VI. What Could Be More Curious?
VII. Laws Of Nature
VIII. The Origin
The Enchantress Of Number
The Return Of The Beagle
Mike Flynn – guitar solos on The Origin Of Species
Adam Riley – drums on The Origin Of Species and Retro
Richard Horton – operation of Babbage Difference Engine Number Two on The Enchantress Of Number
Simon McKechnie – vocals and all other instruments
All words and music by Simon McKechnie, except for the lyrics to The Origin Of Species, by Charles Darwin. Produced and engineered by Simon McKechnie at Melita Studio, London, UK and artwork and design by Vaishali Londhe.
Simon McKechnie is a composer, arranger and musician, based in London, UK. He has written for BBC television, classical ensemble Golden Section and The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, and written arrangements for Roberto Pla’s Latin Jazz Orchestra. He was the leader of the jazz fusion group Azul whose 2004 tour with contemporary dancer Genevieve Grady was Guardian Jazz pick of the week. His 2011 release London Reborn is a collection of interpretations of old London folk songs which The Daily Telegraph described as «an interesting and original piece of music».
In 2013 Simon released his first progressive rock album, Clocks and Dark Clouds. This was followed by Newton’s Alchemy in 2014 and From My Head to My Feet two years later, described by Progression Magazine as «about as accomplished an independent work as you’re likely to encounter».
His late change of direction might seem less surprising when one considers that he grew up raiding his big brother’s record collection, developing a love of Yes, King Crimson, The Enid and Steve Hillage.