EP Review: Ships Have Sailed, Whispers

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Ships Have Sailed’s spearhead, Will Carpenter, has difficulty slowing down and an admittedly over-active mind, hence songs with names like “Midnight” and “Insomnia”.  So when he put across the idea that Ships, a band whose undeniably slick pop had earned them a loyal following over the past two years, should put out a completely acoustic EP, his band mates at first questioned his sanity.

Since their inception, Ships Have Sailed have always struck a balance between exuberant pop and substantial alternative rock. They have received great reviews for their work, indeed (Blue Peter voice) here’s one I prepared earlier: CLICK HERE

The band decamped at Will’s home studio in Silverlake to record completely stripped down, acoustic arrangements of two new compositions, Lucky and Home, and three songs from previous albums. Not realizing how profoundly emotional it would be to peel back the theatrics, the band’s recording process quickly revealed itself to be more intensive than expected. “We couldn’t hide imperfections and were forced to expose ourselves without the glossy sheen of modern techniques and heavy production” reflects Carpenter, who couldn’t be happier with the end result. “It’s important to recognize in front of oneself and others that we are all human, no one is perfect and that it’s OK to own that.”

One thing that the acoustic arrangement allows is for the listener to focus on the superb lyrics, which have always been a strength of the band. Here’s Criminal:

“If you take a look outside of the physical.

You’ll see the water is so wide and subliminal.

And they look in your eyes and they call you a miracle.

But in the shadows of your heart you’re a criminal.”

I’d like to award several Brownie points for rhyming “subliminal” and “criminal” – I do love a clever lyric.

Thank you to Will and Dan for providing the background info on the EP.

Ships Have Sailed’s new acoustic EP Whispers is set for a May 13, 2016 release.

Pre Order here

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