protestant work ethic is the moniker of songwriter simon usaty. influenced by both new and old folk music, he first set out to write gripping songs with deliberately simple structures. while simon recorded the first album on his own, the follow-up the jar and shock also includes pieces arranged with a full band, sometimes adding a measure of urgency. rush for second place took the reductionist approach to writing and arranging a little farther. the result is a collection of washed out, faded pastel snapshots, based on guitar, banjo, double bass, brushed drums, and simon’s fragile singing. are wading in the shallows, recorded with drummer and guitarist david schweighart, bass player stephan bauch, and guests like meaghan burke, hannes dufek, werner kitzmüller and martin siewert adds choir parts (sung by the subchor), horns, and strings to an album that softly stops time.

the latest album my idea of fun was released in october 2020. featuring more diverse arrangements and instrumentals, it emphasizes another avenue of simon's songwriting, highlighting his interest in unusual song structures and sounds.

simon also plays with loose lips sink ships and sings and arranges for the subchor.