A release of multiple charms and flavours, Decade the new album from Anglo-Swedish alternative acoustic duo We Ghosts gets its UK release this month and a tantalising treat it is. Such its distinct yet united variety, the album ebbs and flows in its strongest persuasions but from start to finish the band’s new encounter takes ears on a captivating adventure in celebration of the band’s ten years of creative life.
We Ghosts consists of the song writing team of Swedish vocalist/guitarist J.J.Woodall and English instrumentalist John Christopher, the band emerging in 2004. The years since has seen the band on a constant adventure of live shows and releases. On stage the band is expanded by the likes of Johan Persson and Richard “Rat” Westlake, both making contributions to the album too with the latter also co-producing it with the band. Record wise, We Ghosts’ blend of pop, jazz, blues, and folk has fuelled a clutch of EPs and acclaimed albums such as Things That Go Bump In The Night in 2009 and Almost Alone three years later. Now fourth studio album Decade, released as its predecessor through Deep River Records, provides the imaginative epilogue to the band’s first decade and increasingly seductive opening to the next.
A rhythmic acoustic coaxing opens up album and its first track Broken Sky; its initial lure alone pure magnetism which only increases as melodic intrigue and the instantly enticing vocals of Woodall link their tantalising lures. A spatial breeze soon immerses ears too as siren-esque harmonies float, but that early bait still provides the most direct and gripping pull for the imagination and appetite. With darker hues of bass adding to the elegance and temptation offered, the song is nothing less than a busy and warmly welcoming seducing.
The masterful opening continues with the summery saunter of Out Tonight, a song with a Caribbean bred canvas and flirtatious melodic scenery matched by the vocals and the more wistful but equally colourful keys. The song’s dance is an irresistible contagion, a nudge to feet and emotions to eagerly join its warm revelry before the bluesy funk pop of Death or Glory casts its emotive persuasion next. Without quite matching its predecessors, the track sways and croons with a fiery attitude aligned to similarly intense enterprise from the guitar and easily leave ears smiling.
The folkish shimmer of Too Late to Learn merges a country twang with a sultry atmosphere next, its vocal offering led by Christopher this time. Though his delivery is potent and expressive, personal tastes hanker for the lures of Woodall whilst the song itself lacks the undefined but rich spark which lit the other tracks before it. Nevertheless enjoyment is still a given before the album hits another high spot with its next two tracks. Home Is Where the Heart Is comes first and from the glorious jazzy/blues vocal roar of Woodall to start things off, the song proceeds to stroll with a southern blues spicing across a melodic and rhythmic evocation. It is pure captivation, an inescapable anthemic and spiritual tempting to bask in, though quickly outshone by the even more exceptional Final Curtain. The track is virulent pop infused folk rock with a delta blues hue to its harmonies and invention. Like a mix of My Baby and Jingo, the song is a flame to the senses and rock alchemy for the ears, and quite outstanding with its voracious contagion and imaginative enterprise.
The lively acoustic balladry of Trying to Be Faithful makes a fine and bewitching effort of matching its predecessor, its Kirsty MacColl charm and tenacity compelling from start to finish. It is a success next up Suzie cannot quite emulate, though again there is little to pull it up for outside personal tastes and our always less than eager appetite for any countrified essence. Superbly crafted and intricately woven though, and with a host of creative hues, the song as the following album title track, is a keen persuasion, the latter’s enticing of melodies and poetic vocal expression leaving a glow in the air.
We Ghosts, the song, completes the album, its sixties psyche pop toning a final infectious serenade on the senses. It makes an engrossing end to a fine album, a release which just grows in strength and seduction with every listen. Like many, we have suggested a few releases to soundtrack your upcoming summers, and there is no way we cannot add Decade to those recommendations, especially for those provocative sultry nights.
Decade is out now via Deep River Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/decade/id825383537