"Life Travels" is an album that lulls you right from the start with the very first song "Turtle Bay". You'll feel yourself transported to a Zen beach somewhere on the globe, where you'll forget all the unessential things and concentrate on the true joy of being alive. “Life Travels”, by "The Southsea Music Society" (TSMS), is a true must-hear, as it has everything it needs to create a stir. All the songs in it – and I really mean all, could be hit singles on their own, for there are so many moods created and felt within these tunes. What you'll get here are ten new songs that range from country influences to a smooth pop sound with some glimpses of psychedelia, as well as from folk ballads to a Tom Waits-meets-Leonard Cohen world in which you would like to stay forever.
"The Southsea Music Society" is a collaboration between Aníbal Miranda and Nancy Winter-Miranda (he with music, she with lyrics). Nancy Winter-Miranda in her own right has published a book of her poetry, entitled “Writer Slash Poet”. You will see some of her poetic influence in the two romantic ballads, “So Much Pain” and “Magic in the Sky”. Between the two, their journey has taken them to many places around the globe. You definitely feel this worldly influence in their music. A duo that writes and creates songs as smooth and perfect as these, deserves a place in the sun. Not sure? Another song, “Letter to God” – makes you wonder that this could well be an echo of Brian Wilson's collection of teenage Symphonies to God - where Aníbal's voice comes over rusty and punchy, accompanied by a string section that perfectly suits the orchestral mood of the song.
What you probably don't know is that Aníbal Miranda has a musical past within his own country and in England. He wrote “Ooh La La”, (a European and South African hit single for Dave Mc.Tavish, former lead singer of Deram label's psychedelic cult favorites - Tintern Abbey). If you get the chance to listen to that song, you'll find a perfect pop rock sensibility that shows in the songs that make this new CD “Life Travels”. “When You're in a Storm” is one of those songs, where you can't take the chorus out of your head and you'll ask why SMS is not a household name already. Without a doubt, via word-of-mouth, they will be, because you will find yourself listening to this CD, over and over again.
Featured in this CD, there is a fine group of top-notch musicians. From the most respected and revered José Cid, (ex-leader of 60's Portuguese psychadelic pop group Quarteto 1111 and whom you'll find on the catchy and vaudevillian “Time My Time”), Pedro Saraiva (in “Home Again” with a string section that transports you to an English pastoral mood), American musicians Matt Feddermann, (who has his own recording studio in Illinois and is a guiding light to many new coming artists) and the brilliant keyboard-magician, Steve Woods (in "Turtle Bay" and "Stop Running Away”).
When you get to the end of “Life Travels”, you will find yourself listening to it again. And again. And again. Because this is the kind of music that is eternal, as it could have been written in the ‘60's for its folk and psychedelic colors, in the ‘70's for its country moods and singer-songwriter sensibility, in the ‘80's for its moments of pure pop joy, and as well, in the ‘90’s (oh yes, grunge and lo-fi echoes make up part of this cauldron). Don’t think that it doesn't all glue together, because it does, in a true magical SMS way. As the lyrics in “Stop Running Away” say; “Love is the only answer to your life, stop running away”. And you can't run away from "Life Travels"