When Gozer Goodspeed released his album Ghosts of the Future & Past, it was more than just a collection of songs. It showed where his music used to be, and where it is now, but more importantly, it was a glimpse of things to come. It was a recap of his impressive songwriting and storytelling talents. These qualities stood out with tracks such as “Rattlebone Colour” and “King Point Marina”. Since then, he has been busy performing and working on new material.
Now to the present day, Goodspeed is ready to share to the world his new album Escape Hatch Fever. He has recently delivered a taste of what to expect with the singles “Full Tilt Revival” and “Escape Hatch Fever”. It promises to “bring out the very best of Gozer Goodspeed’s incredible guitar playing, soulful vocals, and precise attention to detail in songwriting”. As for its soundtrack, it will continue to draw “on a variety of influences from the depths of indie, folk, blues, and rock music and carve a space that is entirely his own”.
If you have listened to any music by Gozer Goodspeed in the past, you will notice a slight change in sound within the album. It feels fuller with added depth. The reason for this is, it’s his first full band release. But, it still feels grounded and authentic as it was all recorded at his home studio. An example of this is the track “What if Everything Goes Right”. Not only that, but it offers a taster of the various audio flavours within his music. From the start to its end, the tempo swings back and forth. It features punchy verses which slow down to a chorus that hits hard with a rock mood. If that is not enough, he adds the first of many mesmerising guitar solos.
Gozer Goodspeed delivers yet another captivating collection of songs with his new album ‘Escape Hatch Fever’
Like many of his releases, Goodspeed never stands still with his soundtracks. It’s part of the charm that makes his music stand out. For example, “Sense in the Age of Excess” mixes an indie vibe with electronic tones. It also features one of his famous guitar solos and one of the best from the album. There are songs when things slow down, some with bluesy elements, and some that get more experimental and unpredictable. “Scattershot Comeback King” highlights this free nature. It feels part psychedelic and part jazz with its “I’m doing whatever I want” attitude. It keeps the listener on their toes but in a good way.
With so much to offer with its soundtrack, Escape Hatch Fever still has more to give. With every song he has created, it is the storytelling qualities that people talk about the most about Goodspeed. The title track highlights how he uses his voice to share his words. With a swagger to his tone, he shares lines like, “Wide eyes, wide minds, wide arms, pulling you close / Not cold hearts, cold stares, cold dread making you morose”. While “Vagus Nerve” shows how the vocals can reflect the mood. It features moments when it is soft (especially during the latter parts) but packs a punch during the chorus. Again, confirming he is unafraid to try something new and push his boundaries.
Now to the lyrics, he continues to impress with his way with words. Either to get a message across or to share a scene for the listener to vision. But he does so with depth and detail. Listen to “Full Tilt Revival” to appreciate his storytelling qualities. It features many standout lines, such as “You don’t want a placebo / Or some idealised heaven / You just need your real life / Turned up to eleven”. While the following track, “You Alone Choose The Table”, continues this captivating trait. However, this one is the perfect example of how storytelling, as a whole, is a delight to hear from beginning to end.
Escape Hatch Fever has much to offer, with each song giving something different. There will be something for everyone. Picking a favourite may change with each listen. Personally, “The Last Blood Moon of the Year” is the standout track. It may take a few listens to appreciate what he has created. It moves along without any urgency. Doing so gives time for the music and his words to breathe. From the opening instrumental to the opening lines, “Hey look up hey look up there’s a spectre will appear / Hey look round, it’s the ghost of all you wanted to be this year”.
Even when the hook arrives, it does not shift in tempo. Instead, it subtly holds your attention as Goodspeed shares, “I can’t pull my mind away / I can’t pull my eyes away / From the last blood moon of the year / From the last blood moon of the year”. Even his guitar is clever with what it offers. It seems to be less busy and spotlight-stealing. Instead, it slowly works its magic in the background to enhance the mood. It allows the listener to take in and appreciate the story even more.
Escape Hatch Fever is yet another exceptional release by Gozer Goodspeed. It has an impressive depth in sound and lyrics that is happy to move to its own beat. As always, this artist allows his way with words to steal the spotlight. It will be interesting to hear how this album will sound if recorded acoustically. Well, you will find out later this year as he has reworked his songs with more of a traditional folk feel. One thing is for sure, like all of his music so far, it will be another must-hear release.