Ships Have Sailed is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Will Carpenter. The band materialized in the waning days of his previous project –a band he had been an integral part of ever since moving to Los Angeles. His decision to individually focus on new music again was initially daunting, but the risk proved to be invigorating and refreshing. The music is uplifting and buoyant. The lyrics are thoughtful and conscientious. The sound is sincere indie rock with an unabashed pop structure. And after initially sharing it with fellow musicians, Carpenter recruited a lineup that now permanently includes drummer Art Andranikyan.
Ships Have Sailed recorded their debut EP, Someday (2013), with Carpenter acting as main producer in his home studio. The diverse six-song collection includes arena-ready singles ("Midnight"), acoustic serenades ("Clouds"), and explosive alt-rock bangers ("Better Off"). The release led the band to go on tour, play impressive industry showcases (SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon), and win awards honoring their independence. The promising buzz quickly propelled them to inevitably create a debut full-length album.
Moodswings (2015) is a cohesive release with epic ambitions. Every track emotes an unrestrained desire to be heard and enjoyed in the heart. With crescendoing ballads ("Drive") and indie rock alacrity ("Boomerang"), there’s a uniform sense of sanguine sensibility. Certain tracks were remixed with an electronic edge by DJs (such as Dimond Saints and Mike Vincent) and collected onto the EP Re: MIX (2015). The following year, the band recorded acoustic versions of select songs and released them on an EP, Whispers (2016), along with two new originals. Praise of their next single, "Up" (2017), encouraged the band to tour overseas in the U.K. and Ireland. Their follow-up single, "Let's Just Dance" (2018), was a superb collaborative effort with songwriter Robert Gillies (X Ambassadors, Bebe Rexha) and producer Wally Gagel (Best Coast, Family of the Year) of recording studio WAX LTD.
Carpenter describes the band's moniker not as a pessimistic reference to the renowned idiom "that ship has sailed," but instead a fresh, positive perspective on the unexpected outcomes of unforeseen circumstances. It's an adage that can be applied to his own life of growing up in poverty in rural Vermont and being kicked out of his home as a teenager. He made ends meet by working as a dishwasher and eventually put himself through college as a security guard on the graveyard shift. And it’s from this period of his life that Carpenter recently reflected on to draw introspective inspiration. Thus, the band’s next series of singles, released in 2019 ("Escape", "Stay" and "Skin") leaned into emotive honesty and expressed a deeper level of sentiment than ever before.
Having dedicated 2019 largely to studio work, Ships Have Sailed planned to prioritize touring in 2020, and set out on their first leg (a 10-show run across the southwest with another duo from LA) on March 11th. Unfortunately, their tour was interrupted by the COVID-19 epidemic, which escalated quickly while they were far from home, and Will and Art were forced to reassess their plans for the year, resulting in their decision to release a new single ‘Rise’ in April, which deviated sonically from past works. Their recent release ‘Low’ finds them back in their indie pop wheelhouse, with a bouncy summer jam that deals with the necessity of having to pick yourself back up from your low moments.
“It certainly has been a year of ups and downs…I think all of us can relate to that”, muses Carpenter “but that’s just life for you, you have to take the good with the not-so-good and find a way to put one foot in front of the other even when you’re not quite sure where that next step is going to lead. Low tells that story, and about a year back we met an animator who loved the song and wanted to do an animated video for it…our first of that variety. Of course we didn’t know at the time what the world would be going through now, but it’s oddly fitting to have Art and I be represented by virtual characters in this video…sometimes it seems the universe has a pretty strong sense of irony!”
‘Low’ was released on July 22nd and is available everywhere digital music is sold or streamed.
Low - Single
Rise - Single
Skin - Single
Stay - Single
Stay (Stripped) - Single
Escape - Single
Let’s Just Dance - Single
Mixed Up - EP
Up - Single
Whispers - Acoustic EP
Re: MIX - EP
Moodswings - LP
Someday - EP
Midnight - Single
Ships Have Sailed:
Will Carpenter - Vocals, Guitar, Production, Composition
Art Andranikyan - Drums