‘So to hell with that, this is New Year’s Day, and yeah, it’s gonna be our year’, upcoming Bath based band, Voyages, tell us on the opening track of their debut EP, also called New Year’s Day, funnily enough. These guys might be on to something, mind you, despite missing an obvious trick with the release date.
Described as ‘warm pop with catchy, golden harmonies’, the inspiration definitely appears to be sixties based, and Voyages have been likened to The Beatles in some quarters. While the second track, ‘I’m So Scared Of Losing That I Fail To Even Start’, comes across as being influenced by the later solo works of John Lennon (yes, I know, not 1960s), it did take me a while to work out just who I personally was reminded of, and no, it wasn’t the Fab Four.
Penultimate track, ‘Godspeed’, stood out for me with its West Coast California/Brian Wilson sound. It had a slightly psychedelic feel to it that reminded me a lot of ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘God Only Knows’ in parts.
The opener, and remaining two tracks, ‘Schmuck’ and ‘Why Should I Talk’, however, with their melodies, harmonies, and in particular, the vocals, had a familiar sound to them. It took me a while to figure out that they sounded more like The Hollies, if anything. Not that this is any kind of pastiche; Voyages manage to combine the nostalgic vibe with a modern indie guitar band sound that makes it extremely listenable, and in parts, very catchy.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable collection of tracks, and there is a lot of promise, although it’s not the ‘blow you away’ kind of debut. It will be interesting to see how Voyages develop and come into their own over the next few months and years, but if you like your music laid back and nostalgic in sound, then keep your eyes on this lot. Whether or not their precocious self-prophecy ends up being fulfilled is another matter. This may be their year, but let’s wait and see what they come up with next.
The self released New Year’s Day EP is out now.