I have an impromptu day off (waves at the Moderna booster jab which has done a fantastic job of reminding me what jet lag with dysentery feels like -it’s like coming home from Madagascar all over again only without dreams of lemurs), and so I’m writing a little review on an EP that slipped off my radar a little when it was released in September, and which has subsequently found a cosy place to snuggle a while pretty close to my heart.
Ead Wood’s five track EP Songs in the Quay of Sea is as the name suggests, a series of love songs to the ocean. The Bristol band’s relaxed psyche indie style is perfect for evoking those days frollocking in and around the waves. Lazy hippy surf sunshine music at its best. The band’s front man Ed Soles likes to spend time around Falmouth in Cornwall, and much of the material was written with that area in view.
I know many people would dream of a life in a battered beach hut, the day surfing or splashing around and an evening with a barbecue, a few beers and close friends. I’m more than happy with the food, friends and beer bit but the ocean is rather alien to me – cold, wet and salty and sh1t-scary vast, ever changing and deep. I’m happy to live the story of the ocean through the eyes and observant voice of Ead Wood; I’ll go for a hike on the moors instead and listen to Songs in the Quay of Sea when I get back.
The EP opens with a nice relaxed near 6 minutes with The Ballad of Old Lady Blue Pts 1 and 2. The song rather takes me back to the quiet period before the punk storm in the mid 1970’s and those soft folk rock days. However, rather than it perhaps feeling just a little too wet there’s some gutsy guitar riffs; this sea may be calm but there’s also a few cutting chopping waves to remind us of its power.
Environmental is a wilder high-octane song and gives a biting indictment about our collective inaction on the climate crisis. It’s a protest song of the grandest traditions, and actually I get a Country Joe and the Fish Vietnam protest vibe, where folks could object to a cause with a biting singalong. Clearly as individuals it might feel helpless, but I always think about where my hard earned pounds are going and the corporate behaviour it supports.
Deep Blue has a hint of the sea shanty about it and was inspired by an old 1970’s Lorenzo Reed Organ that Ed found in his parent’s garage. This is a deep song with some weeping guitar work which somewhat channels early 70’s George Harrison. Marry a Mermaid has that similar type of retro sound. To close the EP is a nice hint of jazzy improv with Soothing Ocean Sounds, this gives another quality side to Ead Wood.
Not only is Songs in the Quay of Sea available to stream on all of the usual suspects, it’s also rather nicely presented on a 12inch vinyl version. There aren’t so many copies left, so hotfoot it down to the band’s bandcamp.
images taken from the band’s social media.