Ships Have Sailed is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Will Carpenter. The band materialized after a hesitant decision to individually focus on new music. The process was initially daunting but the risk proved to be invigorating and refreshing. The music became uplifting and buoyant. The lyrics revealed a thoughtful and conscientious perspective. And the sound evolved into sincere indie rock with an unabashed pop structure. After sharing it with fellow musicians, Carpenter recruited a lineup that now permanently includes drummer Art Andranikyan.
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. And it’s from these challenging experiences that Carpenter often reflects on to draw introspective inspiration.
With Carpenter acting as main producer in his home studio, Ships Have Sailed has recorded and released a diverse collection of albums, EPs, and singles that consistently evoke an unrestrained cathartic desire to be heard and enjoyed. Either through crescendoing ballads or indie rock alacrity, their music always captures a uniform sense of sanguine sensibility. And by combining an ardent work ethic with an impressive range, the band has maintained a well-earned buzz that has led to international tours, impressive industry showcases, and awards honoring their independence. They’ve had several songs spend weeks in the top five on listener-voted KROQ Locals Only (“Escape,” “Stay,” and “Take My Money" all reached number one). And most recently, the band received significant exposure after their cinematic single “Broken Hearts” was placed in an episode of CBS’s legal drama Bull.
Their new album Ages, most of which was co-produced by Dan Sadin (MØ, Joy Oladokun), is a testament to the band’s progressive journey. They openly admit that their new creative outlook focuses on optimism as a therapeutic reflex due to recent trying times –both global and personal. Their new lyrical message questions the pathway of life and time and how our perception of it will always change. And the result has made their music more profound than anything they’ve ever done before.
The album continuously and flawlessly pivots between epic anthems (“Escape”), acoustic serenades (“Skin”), and funky dance-pop (“Faithless”). Songs such as “Can’t Go Back” and “Breathe” conjure moody, atmospheric sonics. The title track “Ages” leans into open, emotive honesty while “More” is a hard-hitting blues banger. As a successive experience, it is thoroughly immersive and a guaranteed gamut of emotions.
“Lyrically and sonically, Ages represents a life arc,” says Carpenter. “It addresses an exploration of our humanity, our egos, and our instincts. It’s about how we change over time and are shaped by particular journeys and experiences because while I was shaping this album, my life was also shaping me.”
While recording Ages, Carpenter’s mother-in-law succumbed to cancer. This traumatic event combined with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic opened Carpenter to a new perspective on life and its consequential choices. “I think we need to undertake both as individuals and as a society on what the greater impacts of our various choices and behavior might be,” continues Carpenter. “And whether or not that impact is worth whatever benefit we ourselves might see in the short term from those choices.”
So perhaps this is the ideal time for this album (which is naturally dedicated to Carpenter’s mother-in-law: Rita). It’s a suited release for a time when people have more shared experiences than ever before. A time for much needed catharsis and self-reflection.
Ages - LP
Broken Hearts (Stripped) - Single
Broken Hearts - Single
Low - Single
Rise - Single
Stay (Stripped) - 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