“All for one, one for all”, is not just a phrase, but a way of life for Georgia-based musician Winchester 7, who is accompanied in his projects by his alter egos, better known as the Runners, made up of Phil Voorhees (bass) who resides in Amsterdam, and Jack Kane (drums) who is itinerant in the UK. Winchester 7 & the Runners recently sent out the pre-release singles “Ever Said” and “The Song That You Sing”, which are to be included in an upcoming EP. Choosing a favorite out of these two, or any other Winchester 7 & the Runners songs, is a difficult task; they’re quite different from each other, and all are excellent in their own right.
With their curious, angular ukulele-driven rock songs, the hyper-literate lyrics and laconic vocals of their lead singer, Winchester 7 & the Runners are hard to fit into any one box. What strikes the listener about “The Song That You Sing” is how refreshingly free of modern convention it is, in terms of both structure and sound. It has nothing, but somehow everything, to do with this era of rock n’ roll.
Winchester 7’s idiosyncratic songwriting skills and his instrumental abilities, along with the Runners, make the song distinctively his, and the result is a distinctive masterpiece whose ragged dirty indie-rock edges and rugged electrified Ukulele motifs, inherent to Winchester 7’s DIY process, make “The Song That You Sing” weirdly perfect, recalling the best aspects of acid and psychedelic rock.
When compared to so much of what is around, in the name of indie or alternative rock, “The Song That You Sing” is a divergent and liberating document. Combining a joyous love for his instrument and experimentation with organic rock, but distinctively pop instincts. Another notable aspect of this track – and much of Winchester 7 & the Runners catalog – is how it fuses American rock sounds, with British indie and alternative rock influences.
These facts alone help paint a picture of the kind of anti-corporate ideals Winchester 7 & the Runners envisions for his projects, but the stylistic vision of “Ever Said” provides yet another frame of reference to what propels the mind of Winchester 7.
“This song and its accompanying video were created as a reminder to not be so hard on ourselves,” explains the project leader. “I think that we can all relate to that sentiment as we are often our own worse critics.”
The key to “Ever Said’s” brilliance lies in the way that it flits effortlessly between musical moods and nuances. Lead singer Winchester 7’s idiosyncratic lyrical and vocal style is given a rich melodic platform by the backdrop. His understated, distinctive and mellifluous vocals are as powerful as ever.
The meditative motif, ambles alongside a comfortable Ukulele strum and drum-beat that blends both rawness and sophistication, making “Ever Said” sound like a beautiful antecedent to the upcoming EP.
The classic-styled songwriting is what makes these tracks so all-embracing, and when I say classic, I mean a writing style that was born in another, and better musical era, at least in my opinion. The songs aren’t hard or complicated, with their surface simplicity they are capturing, and the lyrics keep people in focus.
Winchester 7 manages to perform every single line and note so caringly, the audience can feel the deep appreciation for his influences. If there is a perfect way to pay tribute to indie, garage and alternative rock, Winchester 7 & the Runners accomplished it here…again!