If you like folk, indie or rock, and have a penchant for local artists; then have a listen to Simon and the Band à Parte. They’re straight out of Cape Town and they have released three albums in the past. Their fourth album – Blinking and Breathing – dropped in June this year. As a fan of folk and all things rock, I was immediately drawn into the tunes that were sent to me, and I hope to see them live soon. Cape-Town’s masters of introspective indie-folk rock, the Simon van Gend Band have a new name and a new album. “Blinking and Breathing” by Simon and the Bande À Part is a selection of 12 of the best songs to have emerged from nocturnal ramblings of Simon’s troubled soul since the release of his last album “Guest of my Feelings”. Simon, on acoustic guitar and vocals, is backed by the quirky, yet rock-solid rhythm section of drummer Ross Campbell (Celtic Rumours, Urban Creep, Benguela, Fetish, Farryl Purkiss) and bassist Eric Michot (Colourfields, Mr Kito). Soon after completing their last album, the band encountered a recording of Australian act Angus and Julia Stone’s “Chocolates and Cigarettes” and were so impressed by the production that they decided to contact the producer, Ian Pritchett (also producer and sometimes bassist with The Beautiful Girls). Demo’s of the new material were duly sent to Australia and Ian loved the songs and agreed to come over and record the new album. With the backing of Dubai-based Jump Media, the songs were recorded at Cape Towns SAE Institute. The recording sessions featured the cream of local musicians, with contributions by Brendon Bussy (mandolin), Dave Ferguson (Harmonica), Ross McDonald (trombone and horn arrangements), Lee Thompson (trumpet), Gene Kierman (aka Miss Texas 1977, French Horn) and Gustavo Fasani (Bandoneon). Some tracks were sent to London for overdubs by legendary ex-Durbanite Chris Letcher (synth woodwinds, brass, organ, etc.) Here are two videos from the band that you can check out; folk/indie lovers take note! “Blinking & Breathing- In studio with Simon & The Bande À Part” [embedplusvideo height=”350″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1iaS7mZ” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/1b2-VF-ArH0?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=1b2-VF-ArH0&width=450&height=350&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep3566″ /] “Simon & the Bande À Part, Blinking and Breathing” [embedplusvideo height=”350″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1iaSj5C” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/gqlqYfxEwQA?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=gqlqYfxEwQA&width=450&height=350&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep3055″ /] You can visit their site here and become a fan of them on Facebook.