Craig Gould – Captain of the Seas | Strength and Weakness
After the release of his well-received debut single ‘Ain’t No Place To Hide’, Americana/Folk artist Craig Gould is out with another fine track called ‘Captain of the Seas’. Known for his captivating story-telling style of writing and performing, his latest release is a journey that explores his own struggle with mental health through an exquisite blend of delicate instrumentation and emotive vocals.
The track starts with a violin melody that plays over a soft acoustic guitar progression, creating an atmosphere of melancholy. Gould’s mellow vocals in the verse are accompanied by a deep, percussive bass and subtle filler tunes. He sings about a prisoner – a metaphoric depiction of those who feel trapped and in despair – “Held bound and captive by the storm / He’s a prisoner to the captain of the seas”.
As the track progresses, Gould’s vocals get very powerful at one point and are supported brilliantly by the dynamically strong instrumentals. I particularly liked the lush string performance – truly captivating and adds a lot more depth to the sad feel of the track. An absolute pleasure to listen to!
Gould aims to help victims of mental illness through his music and currently works in partnership with the mental health charity CALM. His debut album is expected in Spring 2022 and all the profits from his releases will be donated to help fund the Campaign Against Living Miserably. I personally think it’s an excellent initiative that will possibly inspire a lot of artists to do something similar because, at the end of the day, music has a healing power that should be harnessed whenever possible!
An interview with Craig Gould
Q1 – ‘Captain of the Seas’ is a very emotional track with extravagant instrumentation. What inspired you to write the song?
The song was inspired by my own battle with mental health illness. I knew how lucky I was to have a great support network, which is the main reason how I got through those awful days. Many people don’t get that support and they simply don’t pull through. “Captain of the Seas” is a tribute and testament to all of those who were lost through mental health battles. I wanted to tell a story through the eyes of a lost soul and create a thought that we, as a society, need to do more to enable greater acceptance and less stigma when it comes to mental health illness.
Q2 – When live instruments blend together to accompany soothing vocals, it’s very intimate and moving. ‘Captain of the Seas’ captures the emotion excellently! What could you share about your songwriting process? How did you initially start composing the track?
I always develop a chord pattern on guitar first. It’s then followed by a vocal melody and whatever feelings come from that. I then know the direction the song is taking me. “Captain of the Seas” felt like it needed to blend traditional folk-sea-shanty storytelling with classical composition to enable the emotion to be conveyed to the listener. I think we’ve done that.
Q3 – If you had the chance to perform the track with any artist in the world, who would it be and why?
I feel beyond lucky to have three of the most talented artists from the UK music scene already performing on this track – Anna Corcoran, BLÁNID and Run Remedy. These three ladies are the absolute cream within their fields and the song would not have the impact it has without them playing their parts. I feel I have already been so fortunate to work with these people within the project, so my dream would really be to perform the song live, on a harbour or pier, with those three incredibly talented people. We could sing and play out to the endless sea and remind the Captain that we are still fighting.
Q4 – The song has a very orchestral feel to it, owing to the lush strings and strong dynamics – perfect for a movie soundtrack! What would you like listeners to take away from ‘Captain of the Seas’?
I would gain fulfilment if people came away from listening to this song feeling as though they’d been part of a short film. If you close your eyes and allow yourself to submit to the song, your imagination will unfurl. You’ll feel the cold sea water hit you as the brave sailor battles the monstrous seas.
Q5 – It’s your second single of the year, and you’re already receiving a lot of support from all over the UK, must be a thrilling experience! What more can we expect from Craig Gould in the near future? I’m sure the fans are eager to know!
I’ve been really pleased with how the songs have been received so far. I feel that my music is connecting with people and that’s what it’s all about. There will be one more single released next year (prob Feb 2022) with the debut album coming out in Spring 2022. The songs are all designed to sit with each other on an album as a total body of work, not just as a collection of songs, so I can’t wait to put it out there. I set out with the aim of creating art and conversation from music, so we are heading in the right direction to fulfil that.