‘Whiplashed’ is the long-awaited debut solo single from Bury St Edmunds singer, song-writer and producer, Ed Sykes. With its glammy overtones, fondly reminiscent of Bolan, Bowie and ‘70s era Stones, the single immediately announces itself as a classic pop debut while strongly kicking out its own identity and authenticity.
Ed Sykes is like a rock ‘n’ roll time capsule that has somehow let himself in through your cat flap and is about break open the goods here and now in 2018. His music and Shaman-like performances are deliberately aimed at going beyond typical stereotypes. With a mission to put latter-day expectations of an ‘entertainer’ up a few notches, he describes his own brand of pop music as sonic stories that deliberately evoke a heightened state.
Whiplashed starts with strident buzzy guitar tones that will have you wondering where you have heard the melody before. Once the vocals kick in you will realise that is “Best Friends Girl” by The Cars but the track moves away from this into its own being. Using a vibe that harks back to the 70’s this is a toe taping stonker of a tune that will put a massive smile on your face. The vocals drive the track forward, filled with swagger and attitude into an almost whispered chorus. The riff really fits well with the vocal tone and the addition of the keys supports the overall feel.
What I liked as well is the feeling of space in the track, each instrument is there for a reason and not to fill the space. The crescendo to the end of the track and then pared back keys is a joy.
Ziggy Stardust uses the keys to make this track, which is obviously very well known, into Ed’s own version. His voice fits well with this slowed down version. The keys add additional layers, with an almost jazz feel. This track also gives a different perspective on Ed’s vocals, as they are more subtle than Whiplashed but still resonant with Ed’s personality.
Enthusing about the release of ‘Whiplashed’, Ed Sykes reflects, “It’s very fitting that ‘Whiplashed’ is my debut single as its early ‘70s vibe captures the time that I was born into and the sounds that formed the bones of my musicality. This is essentially my ‘Get It On’ or ‘Rebel Rebel’. I wanted it to sound like a great little timeless Rock and Roll number that you feel you already know somehow. I want to remind people how great pop can be and to show people the standard that I aspire to. For me great pop and rock and roll should be instant, you have no intellectual choice you are either in or out. The sound of it, how it hits you, you know you instinctively love it so it’s not a choice. That’s what I’m about. I believe that if something is written and played from the heart then even an over familiar twelve-bar riff can still be as vital as it always was, like I think I’ve demonstrated with ‘Whiplashed’. It’s a blatantly honest pop song and how it sounds should connect to the core of other people’s basic love for Rock and Roll too I hope.”
Written and produced by Ed Sykes ‘Whiplashed’ features ex-Pretty Things keyboard player, Jon Povey, on brass. Povey played on the band’s highly-revered SF Sorrow album amongst other classics.
I really enjoyed both of these track and am looking forward to seeing what Ed Sykes does next.
Special thanks to @DarrenJohnson66 for the introduction.