If the Drive soundtrack gave you shivers then this album should have you doing backflips, Holy Ghost have managed to capture the 80’s new wave sound in a way that nicely transcends being a simple time capsule. The duo’s genuine originality shines through from the get go, harbored perfectly in album opener ‘Okay’. Opening with 808 toms and beautifully produced synthesizers, it has the same kind of post modern sass that Metronomy’s ‘The Bay’ had not too long ago and is full of great hooks.
Followed quickly by the aptly titled ‘Dumb Disco Ideas’ which sees the duo unfortunately slip into Friendly Fires album filler territory, if it’s the kind of music that ticks all right the boxes but to me at has a much less inventive spirit than ‘Okay’ if the term didn’t seem so prematurely dated i’d lump it in the ‘indie disco’ pile and leave it there.
‘Changing Of The Guard’ sees a quick recovery, with backing vocals and ambient synths filling out the track beautifully, all hastily driven by dominant programmed drums that fans of early Simian Mobile Disco should go berserk for.
‘Bridge And Tunnel’ seems to be the track with the most club potential, thanks to one of the nicest gated synths the genre’s seen in a while and a bass line that almost resembles a major key version of SBTRKT, there’s a few S-Club vocoded lines that could have been left out and given the track a more credible vibe, but it is really well produced and remarkably well put together.
‘Don’t Look Down’ essentially sounds like an electronic version of White Lies for a large portion of the track but its inventive use of pitch shifted vocal melodies makes for a great hook, and its pay off justifies the means tenfold with a beautiful electronic orchestra making itself present, creating a very worthwhile listen (there’s one Pet Shop Boys synth that dominates the bridge that again could’ve been reconsidered, but i’m splitting hairs).
‘In The Red’ is perhaps my standout track, it grips the listener from the intro and the mix of electronic and vocal melodies works really nicely. There are some really nice timbres in the track and synths that have clearly been painstakingly created which make the track in spite of how low in the mix they were placed. I’d only advise keeping an ear out for the subtleties and details in the track and, essentially, the whole album. Its in their quieter and subtler contributions that Holy Ghost really find their telos.
Words: Jake Williams