Fans of Bishop Allen and Sufjan will admire Ghost Stories for the twee factor, but folks (like me) who prefer a little more bite to their music will admire the band’s use of hum, buzz, clatter and noise as a backdrop to the band’s lighter elements. Quixoticism bounces from vaguely alt-country songs like “The Black Hand” and “Catacombs” through the deceptively simple, “You Wear It Like a Stained Glass Window”—a song that is essentially an acoustic guitar and lots of harmony, with other electronic noises bubbling underneath. And then there’s, “Isn’t it Appropriate That Way,” which may be the best use of feedback since Neil Young produced Arc back in the 1990s. The album isn’t so much a collection of tunes as a sound collage that is dreamlike and easy to listen to, if that’s what you want, but at the same time it will reward careful listeners with its intricately layered sounds and textures.
Created by Ron Lewis, whose past projects include work with Colin Meloy, The Dismemberment Plan, The Joggers, and Fruit Bats, this is an album well worth checking out. You can stream the album here. It gets Berkeley Place’s highest possible recommendation.