The Ghosts

I have been sat on this CD for a few weeks now. It’s been played, and it’s been considered. The Ghosts have produced a debut album that is layered and complex, in a number of ways. But is also, and not wanting to contradict myself, is also simple and effective without being pretentious.

The Guardian – “This is superb, accessible, melodic pop.”
The Independent – “Eighties-style brooding synth-pop verse give way to an anthemic, falsetto chorus.”
Music Week – “Classic, melodic pop songwriting wrapped in a fuzzy cyber-blanket”

The Ghosts formed in London, December 2010, when singer songwriter Alex Starling (formerly Ou Est Le Swimming Pool) and drummer Ian Palmer were introduced by mutual friend The Charlatans’ Jon Brookes. They are completed by classically trained Rayna Ferner (keys,) who also plays strings on the album, Dan Whiffin (guitar) and Alex Sharman (keys).

With predominantly a power-pop feel, the album does not seem derivative of any one artist, but seems to draw from a number of inspirations. I am sure I heard the influences of a number of artists and bands as I listened to the album. It opens with, for me the best track of the album, the eponymously titled “Ghosts”. There is an overriding feeling of mellowness to the album, possibly due to Alex’s lyrical style, but this is offset with the beat underpinning of most of the tracks. Again, this has the feeling of picking up for “Forgetting What We Know”, and “Everything Will Do”, a rockier track.

Although a lot of the tracks have a punchy feel to them, there is a darker, almost dystopian, side just under the surface of this album. A feeling of a world, or a life, where something has either just happened or is a about to happen.

The album closes with “Unless”, one of the most personal track from the album, and one which could easily lend itself to an acoustic performance. Something that is probably possible with the whole album.

The Ghosts

With mellow guitar work, and broad electronic sound-scapes they have fused that 80’s-90’s feel with their own air of melancholy, and a sense of desire to look at the future, to move forward. This all comes across as a very personal body of work for the band. I do not think it will be to everyones taste, I am not even sure for myself. But the craftsmanship can not be faulted, and I will be very interested to hear the follow up to this strong debut album.

The Ghosts’ second single “Ghosts” is due for release on 8th April.

Words by Jon.

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