Joe Wilkinson – Water to Wine

Joe Wilkinson’s latest song, Water to Wine, is out today (April 8 2022) on all platforms. We’ve been taking a listen here at the Send Me Your Ears studio.

Water to Wine is a simple yet effective folk song. It is a refusal to give up when things are tough and an emotional and heartfelt call to action for anyone teetering on the edge of turning back when the going gets tough.

There’s something about the pandemic that has forced so many people to focus on re-looking at their goals and striving for the things in life that actually matter. No more so than musicians who’ve had a couple of years to reflect on their life choices and careers and its affected all of us. Times have been hard for musicians whose mental health is often so deeply affected by their personal connections with their audiences. We love that so many artists are writing from the heart at the moment, way more than pre-pandemic, and it truly makes for some spectacular artistry.

Water To Wine is a gentle call to action. With doubled vocals and gentle guitar, the song creeps into your subconscious and messes with your mind before you’ve even had a chance to realise that you are being persuaded to think positive. We loved the line; “last night was amazing today just slipped away. i heard it was sunny weather but i was in bed all day”. It tells so much about depression and the emotional struggles that go with.

There’s some handclaps (or clicks) that are nicely stereoed and they feel almost as if the vocalist is snapping their fingers and saying “chop chop” , lets think positive!

The song really starts to raise in energy at about 1 minute in. The chorus of chanting backing vocals are almost like a repeated mantra and there’s a real sense of urgency in the chorus – which is extremely catchy and we found ourselves singing along by the second time it came around.

The simple chord sequence forces you to listen to the vocals even more as you become familiar with everything else that’s happening in the song, you’re able to really listen to the message.

From reading Wilkinson’s biography and press release it reads as though he is on a mission to take his own advice. With National BBC air play and several important placements, we’re excited to see this level of ambition.

Water To Wine is a well mixed and produced song. For our own taste, we’d suggest the following changes – but of course it’s all up to personal taste. A high pass at around 35Hz will take out some of the rumble in the low end that most home hi-fi can’t handle and therefore give a little extra headroom in the rest of the EQ range. Some light compression on the overall track to try to allow an increase of about 3dB of make up gain will bring the volume more into line with other commercial releases. A boost in the top 3 octaves with a cut around 8kHz to avoid boosting too much sibilance will make for a brighter and more airy sounding track.

Water to Wine is an exciting folk rock call to action that will bring a smile on even the darkest of days. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of positivity.