Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Brickell Finds New Sound in The Heavy Circles

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.