Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
Screenshot 2023 04 14 at 14 11 14

Lloyd Wayne melds influences under the light of the Cypriot sun on tropical single “Saviour"

30 January 2024, 10:00 | Written by Adam Goldsmith

Like a restless child plucking at a pick ‘n’ mix stand, Lloyd Wayne (FKA Compton White) draws on a colourful collection of influences to recreate a panpipe-driven soundscape on new track “Saviour”

Cast your mind back, if you will, and have a think how you spent 2020’s long locked-down, and incongruously golden British summer. It probably wasn’t like Lloyd Wayne, who spent this hazy period isolated in Cyprus, laboriously loading fabric into shipping containers. Having previously released an ambient electronic EP under the moniker Compton White, the Englishman was taking some time away from music. But, not quite retiring his musical adventures so much as letting them rest a little, Wayne was never far from a guitar in the Cypriot sunshine.

As it turned out, long days of labour amidst the palm trees offered inspiration for new EP Bird Beyond, headlined by first single “Saviour”, a track on which it is impossible to ignore the influence of Wayne’s summer in the sun. Understated vocals akin to Paul Simon and Nick Mulvey are matched with light bongo drums, panpipes, and soft acoustic guitar rhythms, evoking the sense of world music also exploited by the likes of Toto.

An almost unsettling pick ‘n’ mix of styles and influences, “Saviour” is hard to grasp hold of, and yet enticing to explore. Wayne grew up in colourful fairgrounds run by his Romany Gypsy family, and there’s a sense of childish gluttony to the way the singer-songwriter snatches at different references and techniques.

Describing his aspirations of capturing this result, Wayne explains: “the sonics were inspired by the meaningless and problematic genre of World Music. I wanted to evoke the feelings I had as a kid listening to a compilation CD my mum bought from a garden centre. Lots of ambient panpipes, Roland D-50, chimes and rain sounds that gave a sense of wilderness and mystical otherness, but in a cheap and wonky way.”

Wonky, perhaps, but the experimental elements of “Saviour” speak to the very foundations of Wayne’s musical education. “My dad played a lot of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, 70s reggae and Kate Bush in the van. He'd insist we shut up and listen to the lyrics and he doesn't impress easily, so I think it ignited something,” he remembers.

Wayne might list older names as influences, but it’s clear he hasn’t entirely rejected the passion for contemporary production that drives his back catalogue. As the haze of “Saviour” slips away, the songwriter’s vocals playfully distort, a recognition that Wayne is marking out his own path. In the echo of the panpipes, you can almost picture the Londoner wilting in the sunshine before his Cypriot shipping containers, meditating on his musical hiatus. ‘Maybe I should give this another go’, he thinks, as he wipes the sweat off his brow and gets back to work.

"Saviour" is out now. Find Lloyd Wayne on Instagram.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next