A look back at Cody Simpson’s best songs to mark the release of his latest EP B Sides: Part the Seas, out March 15th
You may be thinking you recognize Cody Simpson’s name, but if you haven’t checked in with him in a few years then you won’t recognize his sound today. Over his nearly 10 years in the music industry, Cody’s evolved from bubble-gum pop to a unique mix of guitar riffs and island vibes. He’s the Australian Shawn Mendes, a young guy who’s tragically known more for his cheesy pop songs than his musical talent.
Cody Simpson’s latest release B Sides: Part the Seas, is a 4-song EP released as a follow up to a similar set of b-sides released earlier this year.
Each song on the EP has a slightly different vibe to it, from dark and brooding songs like “Siren Song” to cheery tracks like “That’s What Love Is All About”. Over all, the EP is fun to listen to, and its short run-time leaves you wanting more. It’s a far stretch from his debut album in 2010 that featured one guitar, a Garage Band drum loop, and a heavily auto-tuned pre-pubescent boy’s voice.
Now, his style and talent hold up against the best of them, and I think it’s only a matter of time before his name is known by more than just the girls who grew up with his posters on the wall. But that’s not to discredit his early work — it got him where he is today (which, I should add, is on Broadway) and it’s undoubtedly infectious and catchy, so I couldn’t leave it off the list below.
Top 10 Cody Simpson songs over the years
1. All Day – 2010
Cody’s debut EP 4U is an overly produced effort clearly targeted to a younger female fanbase, but “All Day” features one of my favourite lyrics of all time:
"This young girl, she's so cute / every time I see her wear a fresh pair of shoes"
2. Not Just You – 2011
One of his first slow ballads, “Not Just You” was on heavy rotation when I was a moody teenager who thought breaking up with my high school boyfriend meant I’d be alone for the rest of my life. It’s heavy on the cheese — but it’s basically this generation’s “End of the Road” by Boyz 2 Men.
3. Summertime Of Our Lives – 2013
“Summertime of Our Lives” was one of the first songs that made it clear that Cody’s sound was evolving. It was released on Surfers Paradise, his second full length album, and it’s a chill tune with simple instruments that allow Cody’s voice to shine more than in previous records.
4. Surfboard – 2014
If this list wasn’t ordered by release date, this song would be number 1. “Surfboard” deviated a bit from Cody’s usual sound at the time, with heavier guitars and some synths thrown in here and there. As the title suggests, the song does stay true to Cody’s overall style, a bleach-blonde surfer-bum from Australia who is one with the ocean.
5. Home to Mama (feat. Justin Bieber) – 2015
This song kind of came out of left field, surprising fans with a new sound and a long awaited collab with Cody’s Canadian counterpart and pop powerhouse Justin Bieber. With strong John Mayer and Michael Jackson vibes, “Home to Mama” signals a change and a maturity in both Cody and Justin’s sound, and ushered in a period of change in Cody’s music.
*”Home to Mama” isn’t available on Spotify – but check it out on Google Play Music.
6. Still Smiling – 2015
“Still Smiling” is a Jack Johnson-esque track that appeared on Cody’s first album as an independent artist. With more control over his sound, Cody’s music shifted away from over-produced pop music for good, and into his signature island/acoustic vibe. While he may have attempted this with Surfers Paradise, songs like “La Da Dee” and “Pretty Brown Eyes” made it pretty clear his label was still pushing him down the popstar path.
7. Ramona – 2017
In 2017, Cody announced the formation of a new band under the name Cody Simpson and the Tide and released their debut EP Wave One. The name change cemented the fact that Cody was reinventing himself, and “Ramona” proves that Cody’s really living his best life with his new-found freedom to experiment with heavier guitars and raggae vibes.
8. Underwater – 2019
“Underwater” has a similar vibe to “Surfboard” which is probably why I like it so much. It was released on Cody Simpson & The Tide‘s second EP Wave Two, and it’s a funky track with more drum beats than Cody’s more laidback tunes.
9. No Longer Blue – 2019
“No Longer Blue” came out in the first set of B-Sides released this year. It’s another slow ballad that shows off Cody’s pipes, backed only by a simple guitar melody. It’s a deeply moving song that talks about love and loss and a man’s connection to the ocean — a fitting track from the Ocean Advocate for the United Nations Development Program.
10. Part the Seas – 2019
The title track of his latest EP, “Part the Seas” is a fun guitar-heavy track that could easily be the theme song for a Daniel Craig James Bond film. Cody’s music has a come a long way since his debut as Australia’s answer to Justin Bieber — and his maturity and creative energy is on display on his latest EP.
Listen for yourself
Join the conversation
Think I left Cody’s best song off the list? Let me know in the comments what your favourite Cody Simpson songs are over the years.