Ah, the classic story of a musician deviating from his bread and butter to follow his own tuneful vision. While conceiving this dreamy SoCal pop lullaby that is Someday, Will Carpenter, the brains behind Ships Have Sailed, was guitarist for hip-hop rockers 7Lions, a role he still holds steady today. In hip-hop, however, there’s little room for ethereal synthesizers, so Carpenter joined forces with writer/producer Morgan Taylor Reid and, voila, Ships Have Sailed was born.
On Someday, the collective’s first six-song EP, Carpenter’s “other side” runs wild with gorgeous — and substantial — tracks. “Midnight” is a pop anthem the likes we haven’t seen in awhile. No, it’s not some petri-dish Katy Perry soundalike garbage, but a real, audience-shaking, shout-along cry that is accessibly hip. Meanwhile, “Bring You Down” is an honest confession. As dark and painfully relatable as the lyrics are, the melody is earwormingly catchy. The entire Someday EP bridges ready-for-radio sounds with enough punch to maintain its indie cred.
This is just the beginning for Ships Have Sailed. A number of the artists I’ve covered recently have emerged from the once-again burgeoning LA music scene, proving that SoCal still has soul — and lots of it. Will Carpenter is proof that it’s possible to remain true to yourself musically, and when you do, good things happen.