Baton Rouge band, Ship of Fools releases their first EP this Saturday at The Spanish Moon. This self-titled EP recorded at River City Studios includes six songs.
Ship of Fools formed in the fall of 2015. The fools include Ashley O'Neill, Michael Blount, Eric Brown and Raudol Palacios. After hearing their music, you would never guess that they were all under the age of 25 as they bring in a variety of experience and attention to detail in both their arrangements and songwriting.
"We're over a year into this EP release, so it's good to finally have it done," Michael said. All attending LSU, it took them longer to finish this EP between work, class and performing live than they had originally anticipated but now it is done, and they couldn't be happier.
"I'm glad to have an album out and something to promote; I feel like we have a purpose," Ashley added.
After their release show on Saturday, they will head to New Orleans Sunday night and then on to Savannah, Maryland and New York. "We're going on this tour, and that's really important for us. It's going to be a lot of fun, and it will be a new experience and a growing process," said Raudol.
"This EP is raw. These are a lot of our first songs. This is what we made by being us. Now, we are thinking much more about what we are doing, and our writing process is more developed," Raudol added.
They aim to be back in the studio by December of this year. "Our writing has evolved, and we want to hurry up and get in the studio to record these new songs," Michael said.
Ship of Fools has a genre-complex sound that is difficult to define spanning the regions of indie, pop, folk and rock. Though their writing process has developed over time, they stand confidently by this EP as a portrayal of what they can do.
They are excited for people to be able to ride around in their cars listening to a Ship of Fools song and they hope that people will really dive into it. "I feel like some of the intricacy gets lost live. There are a lot of minute things like, a picking pattern, that you may not catch live. I’m excited for people to hear and listen intently to our music, to analyze and pick it apart,” said Michael.
"The way these songs are arranged on the album is like story-telling. None of them had to do with each other, but I really enjoy how they take you on a journey," said Ashley.
She then added, "I don’t write about my own experiences a lot. A lot of the songs are very sad and they look at heartbreak in a different way. 'The Collector' is about a dead bug collection but it’s really about a guy collecting women and not caring. I have a lot of fun being able to hide what the true meaning is in an image, a metaphor."
The band embraces the unique story-telling nature of their lyrics. "I like that these songs are open for interpretation. I like that people will be able to sit down and create their own fiction," Raudol added.
The same attention to detail that this band brings into their compositions was applied to choosing their album cover art. As the members are continuing to define their sound and grow as a unit, they didn't want to box themselves in by choosing something too narrow or genre-classifying. “It’s really difficult to come up with cover art,” Ashley reflected, “You want to do something different and you don’t want to do what other bands have done before. We thought it would be cool to incorporate some other artists in our work." They contacted Liz Douzart, an artist from New Orleans who makes bound notebooks and hand-marbled paper to design their album cover.
"The marble is stunning, silver and gorgeous and she hand cut and made ten of them. I scanned in that image to make the album art and put our own text over it. That’s really special for us because we have a piece of someone’s art involved in the album," said Ashley.
Ship of Fools is all about collaboration and encouraging the arts community in Baton Rouge. This show will be free to the public and they're excited to have Relatives join them. In addition to Relatives, you'll see quite a few familiar faces from the Baton Rouge music scene jump on stage including: Ben Herrington, Raegan Mitchell, John Mann, Caroline Schaff, Laura Swirsky, Chloe Johnson, Christopher Polk, Brian Bell, Danielle Ryce, Nick Lefebvre and more.
Though the EP includes songs people who have seen Ship of Fools may have heard before, they are pulling out all the stops for Saturday night. "We will be playing all the songs from the EP but we will also have three new songs that no one has ever heard. We are excited about that," Michael said.
"It's going to be unique because even the songs on the CD are not going to sound like they would any other time because other people will be playing with us," Raudol added.
You can catch Ship of Fools Saturday night at The Spanish Moon. The show will start up around 9pm and you can buy their EP for $8. "This is the show to come to if you’ve never seen us,” said Eric.
Emily McCollister is the Editor of Jive Flamingo. She is a native Baton Rougean, recent college grad, booking agent at The Parlor and a poet. You can follow her on Instagram @emilyy.jeann or subtweet her on Twitter @emilymc89.