VOYAGES – Lucky 7
LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…
Welcome to the new music of Voyages, a blend of 60’s pop with succulent, golden harmonies and much needed warmth as we all head into the hibernating months of winter. This family of five, hailing from Bath, released their debut LP on December 7th with five fledgling tracks under the guise of ‘New Year’s Day’.
Voyages is creation of singer/songwriter Will Walter, whose work began in Spring 2017 in his the home studio in the West Country. Enriched by the psychedelic sounds of the 60s, ‘New Years Day’ boasts a modern alternative production and a new sound from everything Will loved about his record collection before adding his band of brothers together for the ride. But what exactly was in that record collection I hear you yell? Velvet Sheep find out…
1. Beach Boys – ‘God Only Knows’
‘God Only Knows’ has been my favourite song for as long as I can remember. I feel like a good love song tows the line between being melancholy but celebratory at the same time and this track is the blueprint for that. It can make you smile and cry simultaneously, push you around and make you feel warm.
Produced by Brian Wilson himself, it is a perfect example of a genius at the top of his game.
The Beach Boys can sometimes be overlooked, as people focus on their lighter sounding hits but Brian’s ability to pull around your emotions across the album ’Pet Sounds’ is awe inspiring. Whenever I need to feel reason for what I do and want to achieve, I blast this track out at full volume.
2. The Lemon Twigs – ‘I Wanna Prove To You’
I have recently discovered and have fallen in love with The Lemon Twigs. They are a prime example of a band who take a massive influence from the past but somehow put their own fresh, unique twist on it. The song strolls through different time signatures throughout, which reflect the message coming from the wavering lyrics. I like the fact that new parts appear in the song as it goes along with an ending that wouldn’t feel out of place on Broadway. Their vocal harmonies in the background are heavenly.
I’m always impressed with the tenderness in the writing of their lyrics for a band who are all but 18 years old. With phrases in this song like, “If somehow I was standing in your room without my boots. With your spider in my hand, and I look at you, and my skin is red” – They are very visual and subtly suggestive. If you ever get the chance to see The Lemon Twigs live, GO. You will not regret it.
3. America – ‘A Horse With No Name’
This song is on my walking to work playlist and makes the journey that bit more bearable. It’s been raining a hell of a lot recently and everything about this song makes me feel like I’m in someplace hot. I love songs which feel like they have soundscapes etched into them. The subtle percussion in this is something I’ve definitely tried to take influence from in some Voyages tracks.
I like how whimsical and thought provoking the lyrics in the chorus are, although a pessimistic friend of mine recently pointed out that a horse needs to be able to recognise its own name in order to train it up to the ability to ride – I prefer America’s take on the matter. Sometimes the most obscure lyrics are the most relatable because people have their individual interpretations of them.
4.Chilly Gonzales – ‘Kenaston’
I first discovered Chilly Gonzales through the Feist album ‘The Reminder’ in which his piano playing is a constant thread in the fabric. ‘Kenaston’ is from the album ‘Solo Piano 2’ in which – as you’d expect – it’s just Gonzales playing piano solo tracks. I have started listening to it a lot recently before a writing session if I feel I need to clear my head. He has an amazing ability to turn notes into phrases and, without any lyrics or any other instrumentation, he can push words and feelings across your mind. He is a prolific songwriter, a great producer and a huge inspiration for me.
5. Tim Booth – ‘As Far As I Can See’
I think in this song Tim Booth creates a small story in a world that’s sweet but raw simultaneously. It’s an undiscovered gem and has a timeless quality which is the mark of a good song in my eyes. It reminds me of something Donovan would have released in the late 60s and carries a sunny care free feel. The song ends with Booth repeating the lines, “the fire climbed up your spine and spread into your hair.” Which are lyrics I wish I had written.
6. Paul McCartney – ‘Hey Diddle’
‘Hey Diddle’ is from the album ‘RAM’ – by Paul McCartney, which for me, is the musical equivalent of a roast dinner. The track is full of perfectly primitive melodies and pretty basic production. The harmonies near the end of the song pull away just enough to make you feel like you’ve ended up somewhere different from where you started. The baggy bass drum is super warm and the woodwind solo in the middle of the song is super playful and straight out of steamboat willie. I am a huge Beatles fanatic and grew up with my parents playing them on repeat, I definitely don’t hide away from this in my music.
Lucky 7. Voyages – ‘New Year’s Day’
‘New Year’s Day’ began life as a poem I wrote on the first of January, which was ultimately a stream of consciousness brought upon by a goddamn awful year and a catastrophic New Year’s Eve party – which resulted in loss of phone, wallet and mind. The spoken word section in the breakdown is an extract from Roseanne McGonigle’s ‘The New Year’s In Song,’ where she says, “the logs were burning brightly, it was a night that should banish all sin. For the bells were ringing the old year out and the New Year in.”
You can pre-order Voyages’ debut EP on vinyl that will be released in January and hear the full 5 tracks here: voyagesmusic.bandcamp.com/releases