Words by William Woodward
I have to admit that my musical tastes can sometimes be picky. I know what I like.
The sound of summer is an important draw for me. As you can imagine WU LYF, Yeasayer, The Walkmen and particularly Local Natives tick all my musical boxes. After a listen to their stunning debut EP I think I will soon be able to add Adios Ghost to this list.
The group formed in 2010 and released their first EP in the last few weeks. They hail from Brooklyn and have already caught the attention of a number of blogs and reviewers.
The EP oozes energy. The first track ‘Fernseher’ carries lovely rumbling drums, steady bass and almost oriental sounding picking guitar notes provided by a mandolin. It is optimistic and fantastically summery. It builds intrigue with few but poignant lyrics and vocal harmonies. These vocals are patchy and rugged, giving the track an experienced and peripatetic feel.
Track two ‘October Snow’ presents us with folk melodies with its clear and unrelenting picking guitar riff which develops into an almost Spanish style. Notable basic power chords reminds the listener that Adios Ghost, despite the charming layers of sound, are still a band who like their guitars. The track’s vocal harmonies are almost like chanting; they give ‘October Snow’ a brilliantly worldly and atmospheric feel which is enhanced by more reverberating drums.
‘Tightrope’ offers something similar to Echo and Bunnymen’s style. Every element is subtle yet distinct and the track carries a dreamy and cinematic feel. Many decent albums always make room for a discreet and usually acoustic track. Adios Ghost’s attempt is interesting; while the music remains calm and inconspicuous, the vocals of lead singer Ben Sigerson retain their ruggedness, vocal range and individuality.
The EP’s final offering ‘Wistful’ demonstrates the band at their most diverse. The layers of sound are intensely built, again each holding its own distinctive sound. The vocal breakdown towards the end of the song is simply fantastic and when done this well, it offers that extra something to an already stand out track.
Adios Ghost’s sound is one of the few that sounds that British acts find it difficult to reproduce. We must nearly always look to our friends living in the coastal areas of the United States. This is the kind of music I like – wild, playful and travelled.