Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Jul 27th, 2016

Ships Have Sailed: Whispers

whispersShips Have Sailed
(Ships Have Sailed Publishing)

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Stripping away what they feel was some glossy grandeur of previous releases (most recently their Moodswings release from last year), Ships Have Sailed present their new, basically acoustic EP, Whispers. The mostly single-strummed guitar and breathy vocals of “Lucky” begin this five-song collection. It’s a sweet song that sees piano placed precisely and the slow, low strum coming up to swirl under singer/guitarist Will Carpenter’s wonderfully expressive voice. “Out of Time” grooves more with the backing vocal ohh-ahh’s than its strummed guitar, but I love Carpenter’s subtly sly picking on “Criminal.” The intimacy of the production here makes it feel as if we have walked in on him managing this angelic read. Dan Hange’s softly rendered bass layers under the tune perfectly. A heavy, flumpy strum plods “Home” along its course. Carpenter’s vocals are really up-front in the mix here, maybe a little too much actually, but again we get a lyric about what love might be, could be, will-it-ever-be about. As before on Whispers, the backing oohs lay out some rich flavor and make this tune more than just Carpenter moaning around his acoustic. (His higher vocal moments rise to some studio effects – slightly glossy grandeur – which are nice.) “Midnight,” a la some fine Tracy Chapman-like picking in its verses, ends the EP. Things get richer as the song goes on with strumming and vocal change-ups, but I feel things are most heartfelt in the picked parts. All in all, Whispers is a solid acoustic read from Hange and Carpenter.


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Ships Have Sailed: Whispers