EP REVIEW: Cody Simpson & The Tide – Wave One
Gold Coast singer songwriter Cody Simpson was one of the worlds most promising new artists after being discovered through YouTube. His third studio album “Free” saw him parting ways with Atlantic records and starting his own label so he could go back to his roots and have 100% control over the music. The alternative acoustic-rock sound experimented with folk and blues while still managing to hold onto a touch of pop in his melodies. The organic sound suited his vocals a lot more than the manufactured RNB-pop he was releasing prior. After taking nearly 2 years out of the limelight he has reintroduced himself with a new project. Cody Simpson & The Tide sees him joining forces with some other musicians to create a band that is all about encouraging people to be better versions of themselves and to be moe aware of their natural surroundings. Their debut EP “Wave One” is musically an extension of his previous record with a coastal rock sound that has elements of folk, blues and reggae. Guitar has always been an important focus to his music and this EP is no different. Each track is lead by guitars in different ways and manages to showcase a variety of emotions. However one thing we don’t get is a stripped down and raw ballad which I’m sure will come in due time. “Waiting For The Tide” is the first introduction to this new sound and it has a summer beach vibe to it with a reggae vocal delivery during the chorus with the pronunciation of “I’m just out here waiting for the tide. Come on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”. Musically its not that far from what I would expect after listening to his last record and it’s nice hearing that he still knows how to write a catchy hook. “Sun Goes Down” then goes straight into a similar sound with the addition of a more pop focused hook that you could imagine hearing at a festival. Its during the first verse of this song that I noticed how mature his vocals have become. They have this distinct roughness to them that hears him almost grunting some of the lyrics. “Tell Me Why” then sees him half rapping during the verses chasing a sound that you’ve accustomed to from Ed Sheeran but Simpson puts his on beach twist on it. This is the most commercially friendly track on the release and one that you could easily hear on radio with it’s smooth hook. Wrapping up the four track EP is the rock influenced “Ramona”. The heavy guitars and vocal distortion takes you back to early beach-rock that he would’ve been raised on from the Gold Coast. This is probably the most surprising sound to hear from him because it ditches all the pop elements completely. It’s the most experimental with the structure vocal breakdowns and then turning into a doo-woop meets rockabilly sound towards the end. All of the songs relate back to the beach and nature with Simpson encouraging people to have a deep connection with your surroundings like he has with the beach. It’s a nice direction that pulls the focus directly from relationships and heartbreak and while he still channels them it’s now with a correlation to nature and how to heal those feelings. “Wave One” is the perfect reintroduction to his sound and will see him losing some of his pop focused fans but will also see him winning over a whole new fanbase with this mature collection.