Wanted On Voyage (Expanded Edition)

Wanted On Voyage (Expanded Edition)

Since the beginning of his career, George Ezra’s deep, rich baritone voice has almost sounded like it belongs to someone else. The Hertfordshire-born artist studied songwriting in Bristol, having grown up on a diet of North American folk and blues artists, including Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and Lead Belly. Those influences help explain why Ezra’s songs sound rooted in another time and place, and no doubt helped shape his deep, from-the-gut vocal delivery. It’s that striking vocal style that earned Ezra so much music-industry attention back in 2012, after the then-18-year-old singer uploaded a few songs online. That interest would eventually lead to Ezra’s 2014 debut album. Taking its name from a sticker seen on Paddington Bear’s suitcase—a reference to Ezra’s childhood love of the fictional character and an an encapsulation of the process behind the record—Wanted on Voyage found Ezra traveling Europe by train for a month as he wrote notes and did some people-watching. Produced and written with Cam Blackwood and Joel Pott, the resulting album is a record of deftly woven folk rock and sugary pop, with nods to gospel—all topped with tenderly observed storytelling. Ezra recalls his memories of lying next to a lover in “Barcelona” and of getting caught up in the crowd in a march in Milan in “Da Vinci Riot Police.” There are also more straightforward love songs: Take the jaunty sweetness of the lithe, ebullient guitar on “Listen to the Man,” which finds Ezra comforting an anxious lover (“Your world keeps spinnin’ and you can’t jump off/But I will catch you if you fall”). Then there’s the decidedly less straightforward “Drawing Board” which seems to find Ezra plotting the gruesome murder of his ex. And, of course, there’s his behemoth singalong track “Budapest,” still one of Ezra’s most recognizable songs. A record equal parts playful, rueful, and ruminative, Wanted on Voyage is a debut collection that set in motion a career of melodic folk-pop music, rendered more interesting than it might otherwise have been on paper by Ezra’s voice and his willingness to take a conventional palette somewhere darker than you’d expect.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada