“The Ship” dropped June 23rd, and features Combs’ signature somber vocals, a dreamy synth, and wavering guitar riff that invites like the open waters. The use of brass instruments like the saxophone adds a most welcomed element to Combs’ Americana sound, while preserving the seriousness of the theme and the mellow vibe.
The lyrics speak to his loss of a friend to addiction, and conveys as a reflective goodbye. As Combs sings “Looking out a window cursing at the sea / Waiting for a ship to come and carry me,” the weight of the message hits deeply. Using natural imagery in phrases like, “Bird wings and wild barking dogs are all I hear, a little heaven,” Combs displays his talent for description and puts the tranquility of this track to words. His black and white music video expresses the serene yet melancholic motif of a voyage through nature, which coincides with his lyrics.
“This is a song about losing a friend to an overdose,” explains Combs. “After on and off again sobriety, he finally lost his battle with addiction. We weren’t the closest of pals, but we thought fondly of each other. This is me pondering the many sides of his personality that I did not know, and sending him a farewell to a better place.”
Combs’ music has received much acclaim throughout his career, including his earlier and lead single, “(God)less”, off of his upcoming album, Sundays. The track was recognized in Atwood Magazine as a song that encourages “finding beauty in the chaos of our world”. Rolling Stone also had much to say about Combs’ 2019 album Ideal Man, which features the cadenced melodies and vibrant lyrics which Combs continues to deliver in his recent work.
The Nashville-based writer and artist is one to draw inspiration from the beauty of the world around him and his emotional experiences. Songwriting has always proved an effective outlet for him in his struggle with mental health, as well as transcendental meditation. This and a routine of recording on every Sunday, to which he’s created his aforementioned album, rightfully named Sundays, which hits airwaves August 19th via Tone Tree.
The soft tones and illusory sounds of “The Ship” ripple with potential to add to your singer-songwriter playlist this summer, and all we can do now is anticipate the new album from Combs.