SIMMONS & MATTEO is a new backwards-looking but forward thinking songwriting pop project from Mike Pace (Oxford Collapse, Mike Pace and The Child Actors), a 42 year old father of two who conceived of the idea while living at his mother’s house on Long Island whilst riding out the pandemic in 2020.

Pace comes from an indie rock background, having played in a band called Oxford Collapse that released a couple of records on Sub Pop back in the late aughts and toured incessantly, but lately, he’s been focusing on stepping back from the limelight and writing for others outside of his comfort zone, while also indulging in the more soulful R&B/pop/soft rock stuff he loves. The plan is to somewhat regularly release Simmons & Matteo singles (featuring various sessions players and vocalists; Pace is writing and producing), and use them as calling cards for potential “pop” songwriting opportunities.

Released summer 2020, Simmons & Matteo’s first single “Missed Connection,” took cues from mid-to-late 80’s/early 90’s slick but soulful AOR pop hits – a genre Pace labelled “Spago Rock,” (ie, what you’d hear blaring out of the 5-disc changer at the bar at Spago in 1990 or at your cousin’s bar mitzvah bash in 1992) – and aimed to sound like something on the Pretty Woman soundtrack, but might also have a home in the leftfield pop world of today.  
The Follow-up single “Loving the Way (That You Love Me)” arrived that autumn. With verses awash in gorgeous Rhodes, a chorus bursting with glistening synths, and arresting vocals from collaborator Miriam Speyer, the song channels a more mysterious, feminine late ‘70s soft-focus vibe influenced by on a velvety night on the town and the wee morning hours after.

“Get Through the Night” is the beautiful third Simmons & Matteo single ushering in Spring 2021. It’s the new sound of pop filtered through an early 90s adult contemporary semi-tropical backdrop.

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The name Simmons & Matteo is meant to be broad enough to conjure up various sounds and styles; are they ’70s singer-songwriters? ’80s jazz fusion cats? A ’90s acid house DJ duo? To Mike Pace, the possibilities are limitless.

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