Released: Maniac Squat Records 8th June 2018
Cat no: MSL2018V008
‘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.
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 am honoured to have Ex Pretty Thing Jon Povey on the track who did the fabulous brass section giving it a touch of 60’s Stones that I love,” Ed says.
The B side of ‘Whiplashed’, meanwhile, (rightfully named the ‘Z’ side for this release) is a stripped-to-the-bone rework of the David Bowie classic ‘Ziggy Stardust’. It features the unmistakable avante-garde jazz-infused piano of legendary Bowie collaborator, Mike Garson. Ed’s vocal drives a new reflective vibration into the piece that possibly only the passing of significant time, and a certain hero, could allow for.
“Ziggy Stardust came about completely by chance after being asked by the record company ‘How are you at singing Ziggy Stardust?’ I didn’t set out for it to be the Z side to my debut single but again it feels very fitting that it is. Being a big David Bowie fan I still pinch myself that Mike Garson is actually playing on this track and WOW! What a performance. Nobody has ever heard Ziggy this way. I’m glad it came about naturally otherwise I’m unsure I would have ever chosen to take on such a huge classic song.
“It’s sheer size is very daunting but I’m over the moon and very proud of this version. I tried to bring a tenderness to the song and it’s story. I wanted to reflect a love and thankfulness for that iconic character who still lives in the hearts of millions and also to the man that created him who is dearly missed. Coincidentally it’s feels very right for me that rock and rolls biggest Shaman should appear on my first record. This connects very much to what I am about and intend to tap into as a performer,” muses Ed Sykes.
Those who have worked with Ed Sykes recently say the following:
“Undoubtedly the best young musician/producer I have worked with since Abbey Road. A real turn on for me – to create great sounding music with Ed. Wow!!”
– Jon Povey (ex-Pretty Things)
“Ed Sykes has proven to me what an incredible talent he is. He guided me towards the light of the late ‘60s while producing my album Think Pink III. I hope Ed’s new single is a smash. He deserves it.”
– Twink (Pink Fairies)
“I enjoyed this version (Ziggy Stardust) very much and enjoyed playing on it.”
– Mike Garson
Ed Sykes – a brief history:
Born in Bury St Edmunds in 1971, Ed Sykes soaked up his parents’ record collection of the 50’s and 60’s and lived through the rest of pop culture. His foundations were a love of classic songwriting infused with the influences of being exposed to counter-culture lifestyles from a very young age. His influences include Hawkwind, Bolan, Bowie, Beatles, early Stones, early Pink Floyd, Numan, Can, Wire, Beta Band, King Tubby, Beck, PJ Harvey, Jesus & Mary Chain, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spiritualised and Ty Segall.
Ed’s last band before going solo in 2017 was Colchester-based So-Called Humans. Over the years his work within bands has gained favourable reviews from John Earl (9/10 Single review) and he has appeared on a John Peel Radio show playing 4 track demos. Damon Albarn recommended a self-produced white label EP to an equally impressed Parlophone Records.
More recently, Ed has become equally recognised for his production skills. He has produced founding Pink Fairy member Twink’s 2018 album Think Pink III. Ed also has writing credits on the album, which is currently receiving rave reviews.‘Whiplashed’ is released on 8th June 2018.
Photo credit: Maryann Morris
Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson (+44) 7799 731 682