While other artists were bemoaning the pandemic's effect on the live-music industry, the Sims's career soared with the track "I See Red." The song landed on the soundtrack of the Netflix film 365 Days, one of the streaming platform's top summer movies in 2020. The tune brought them a truckload of recognition, charted at number six on Billboard's Rock Digital Song and number eighteen on the Hot Rock and Alternative charts, racking up 112,000,000-plus streams on Spotify.
On Fourth of July weekend 2020, they signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, which houses Adele, Beyoncé, Diplo, Harry Styles and more. A year later, the couple's happy to be back on the stage and looking forward to a summer of concerts, including the Fourth of July Twang Fest and Barbecue mini-fest at Boulder's Gold Hill Inn. Their upcoming song "Rebels & Outlaws," which drops July 23, was inspired by James Dean films and the Robin Hood archetype.
The Simses attribute much of their recent success to their collaboration with friend, musician and producer Robbie Nevil, who knows the ins and outs of sync-licensing and has been helping them place their songs in movies and other media. The couple even started writing music with him.
“Once we started writing together, it was really fruitful and easy," Bonnie says. "We realized our working relationship had a lot of potential and started releasing music together.”
“Taylor will sit with a song for months or even years, tweaking it and reworking it,” Bonnie explains, “and I tend to have a more one-and-done approach. We’ve been playing music together since we met. That was the first thing that brought us together.”
The roots project Bonnie and Taylor Sims has seen its own share of success. The act is signed under Boulder’s Octave Records and is gearing up to release an album in the fall.
“We've wanted to record a duo record for years now, so when Octave Records approached us earlier this year, we thought it was the perfect time to make it happen," says Taylor. "It's a collection of some new stuff we wrote this year and some songs we've played for years.”
Through its namesake project, the couple performs stripped-down sets, but Everybody Loves an Outlaw is incorporating more technology into its sound.
“Bonnie and Taylor Sims represents the music we can actually make if just Taylor and I stand in a room and make music for you as humans,” Bonnie explains. “Everybody Loves an Outlaw is that plus everything technology can offer. It’s a whole new angle and level of production. The difference between hearing one of me sing on a track and hearing thirty of me sing on a track [is] the main difference.”
When they're not making global waves with their songs, they teach music lessons for kids in Colorado and New Mexico through the nonprofit Queen Bee Music Association.
“Teaching other people music, especially kids, feels like a way to share and include people that performing does not give us, and helps us connect in a more intimate way to our community,” Bonnie says.
As they see it, their journey is just getting started, at home and beyond.
“As independent artists, it’s been a completely unexpected ride,” Bonnie says. “We are eternally thankful for what happened during the weirdness and uncertainty that COVID brought to the music industry. It’s so wild to go from a few thousand streams to over one hundred million in a year.”
The Bonnie and Taylor Sims Band headlines the Fourth of July Twang Fest and Barbecue, which starts at 12:30 p.m. on July 4 at the Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main Street in Boulder. For more music and a calendar of upcoming concerts, visit the couple's website.