Two years on from the release of his Mercury nominated debut, ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’, Ghostpoet announces his sophomore album ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ which will be released through Play It Again Sam.
Two years on from his debut being nominated for the Mercury Prize, and having moved on from Brownswood to Play It Again Sam, Ghostpoet’s creativity has blossomed even more. On his second album, ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’, he pushes even further in all directions than on ‘Peanut Butter Blues...’, mixing the abstract and the concrete with uncanny skill. Industrial beats, sonorous piano lines and hyper-detailed ornamentation provide a backdrop for an artist who sounds ever more like a man old before his time.
Ghostpoet attributes the album’s experimental bent to the change in his recording situation. Whereas ‘Peanut Butter Blues’ was entirely self-produced on a computer in Ghostpoet’s bedroom, ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’ is a studio-based work co-produced with the talented Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Darkstar, Egyptian Hip-Hop).
One of the key upbeat cuts is the album opener, ‘Cold Win’. Originally intended as an homage to old school garage, it morphed into an electronic oddity that builds up gradually with cinematic swells of horns, although skipping, staccato beats remain as a hint to the track’s origins. On ‘Dial Tones’ one will recognize the wonderfully guarded and delicate vocals of UK songstress Lucy Rose. ‘Dorsal Morsel’, which features Gwilym Gold on vocals, begins as a sparse, minimal meditation that develops into what Ghostpoet calls a ‘synth utopia’, while lyrics about spending too much money on Amazon and Pringle packet metaphors keep it grounded in reality. The delicacy of ‘Comatose’ winds up as glorious, string-led chamber music.
Elsewhere, ‘Plastic Bag Brain’, which features Tony Allen on drums and Dave Okumu from The Invisible on guitar fuses Afro Beat guitar riffs and shuffling Two Tone rhythms. You also have the legendary drumming talent of Charles Hayward from This Heat lending his talent on ‘Sloth Trot’.
The disarmingly honest ‘Meltdown’ tells the tale of one of those break-ups where both parties simply drift apart gradually. Electronic static, radio signals and beats that crunch like footsteps through snow form the basis for Ghostpoet’s ruminations on dim sum and noodles on ‘MSI musmiD’, while ‘12 Deaf’ is an aqueous, abstract soundscape.
It’s an album that positions Ghostpoet in the tradition of modern British auteurs as interested in pushing the boundaries sonically as expressing cathartic feelings.
Plastic Bag Brain