Walking to and from work has many perks, yet none quite match up to the thirty minutes I get to spend with a choice album. New Ghost‘s debut album New Ghost Orchestra certainly lodges itself within that category. Each time I’ve felt a bit off in the morning, I throw on this delight post-rock record. I’ve felt a hell of a lot better by the time I make it to work every time.
Throwing them in the post-rock category alone however, wouldn’t ring true when you consider my statement in the header above. This collaborative effort from a multitude of musicians traverses through synth-pop and glitch, with elements of prog thrown in too. This variety doesnt always play out in singular tracks, with styles chopping and changing completely for certain songs, yet quite clearly performed by the same artists – with the same talent.
“Burning Out” is a damn fine example of this in action. Despite the song being driven by a female vocalist with incredible hooks and a glitchy beat, the subtle post guitars in the background remind you that the core identity of New Ghost is everpresent. This and the two-part “Sleepwalkers 1 & 2” are the most electronic on the album, so for fans expecting more of the same, prepare to be amazed.
“Sleepwalkers Part 1” is used like an intro to great effect, before you get a full profile of the band’s sound in “Hours”. Packed fulled of insane choruses and moments that remind you of bands like Oceansize, Grizzly Bear and even dashes of Arcane Roots too, this is one of my favourites and a great way to start your day. The drumming and vocal harmonies are my favourite aspects, the former the kind you find yourself air drumming along to every time. In the final third of the song, the band creates a rich, dreamy atmosphere that completely envelopes you and makes you get real introspective, one of the best experiences the album has to offer.
As alluded to prior, the band are exceptional at writing hooks. Even after a few days away from the record, you’ll find yourself humming or thinking of the amazing choruses and verses which penetrate your memory. “Not Enough” has a chorus that ascends to the stars, utilising group vocals with a distorted nature to them to create an angelic setting. This song also showcases the rockier side of the band; Deftones vibes aplenty.
“Nightdrive” reminds me again of Arcane Roots with deep synth layers forming the foundations of this incredibly dreamy song. The soft vocals interspersed throughout have a calming effect, and the apt title gives you an idea of the setting the song works best in. As we move through the next two songs, you’ll find a deep appreciation for the way the band have laid out the album. Each song drives a different emotional response I feel, moving from the calm in “Nightdrive” to a uplifting positive feeling in “The Rest”, before building into an energetic, more dancy version of Tycho in “Sleepwalkers Part Two”.
I’d be lying if I didn’t think that the opening to the final track isn’t pure Oceansize worship in my opinion. Strikingly good vocals from the lead singer are complimented by gorgeous post-rock that keeps on growing in beauty as the track continues. The tasteful saxophone inbued towards the end of the track is the cherry on the top of this brilliant album, which is wonderfully composed, and gives real meaning to the album title New Ghost Orchestra.
I’m really excited to see where New Ghost go from here, and a live set of theirs would be something I’d love to experience. The atmospheres and range of emotions that New Ghost play with are special and I feel this genre defying band have what it takes to gain really good exposure. Be sure to pick this record up, and as mentioned, use it to brighten your day.