Jumping off a plane into two weeks of quarantine seems like a common story for thousands of global citizens who have been scrambling to understand where, when shit goes down, they should be in the world. My country of origin? My new expatriated home? Or are we all moving to New Zealand? (too late they've closed the borders)
2020 musings seem to have mutated into exhausting platitudes. The unpacking never ending! However, talking to a friend that was front and centre for the U.S. metaphorical firestorm and is still an optimist reinstated my faith in something.
I was lucky enough to get a couple of hours on the phone with our Solemate, Ed, affectionately known as Dossy. Professionally known as E.J.Worland. We covered probably every topic, ever. With the culmination being a gut jiggling recount of an accidental crotch exposure to the quarantine police. All bits aside (get it), here's a brief history of our Solemate E.J.Worland.
For Ed music was a birth right, his family naturally integrated music into their upbringing. The act of learning instruments was a perfect kid sitting tool to keep preteen Ed busy while his dad fished at Clontarf Reserve.
Formally starting with piano and bass at 10, then moving through an array of instruments. Ed's first sounds were plucked directly from the Zeitgeist of the late 90s, early 00s; think Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Californication.
From that initial introduction Ed has moved through punk bands (side note: Pash Rash), jazz bands, school bands, blues music, reggae etc.
Ed's come a long way since his first songwriting experience when he was 16. Having travelled back and forth himself to the U.S. a number of times with his bands, on songwriting trips and recently expatriated as a solo artist he has worked his literally bum off to self fund his recently released singles; Over The Pond, Drown In You, and Do Better.
Ed lists some of soul music greats like Bill Withers; Live at Carnegie Hall, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke as influences on his sound. Along with modern soul heroes; Leon Bridges and Michael Kiwanuka.
Allen Stone, is another musician that has motivated Ed through his story. Due to personal relationships and mutual respect for one another's music Allen invited Ed to appear on an episode of "Live at the Lodge".
This came at the height of COVID just as Ed had packed up and bailed to Texas to escape cabin fever. With the entire world's entertainment industry at a stand still, Ed found himself making a call to a friend at a loss for what to do. The response was beyond what was expected.
Present day Australia, post quarantine, Ed is home, he's started playing live gigs again albeit with sitting room only. It's better than nothing.
There's a lot on the bill for E.J.Worland in 2021 and with a ravenous pull to create, it'll be worth the wait, so keep peeled for what's to come.
In the meantime wrap your ears around his singles, while you're there check out what Ed's listening to now.
Images by Tim Baker