There is a noticeable theme here. If any phrase could be used to sum up the sound of this album, it would be its title, also the name of the artist, Ghost Culture. Presumably the artist imagines that all three are one entity, which would be an admirable endeavor.
From the mysterious black and white silhouetted album artwork, to the haunting whispering vocals, what is construed here is that silence and delicacy can be just as powerful when contrasted with loud volume and a chronic beat. The album itself is ethereal and misty and, as the artist’s online profile states, Ghost Culture ‘emerges from the shadows’.
Most active music listeners will have entered 2015 wondering what would become of the British music industry this year. We have mass media presenting to us what the majority love, leaving people searching for independent, underground music styles mostly disappointed with the same material circulating.
This is where Ghost Culture steps in. It’s exciting, new and a little bit strange at first listen. On the surface it sounds like an experimentation with a synthesizer, but on a deeper level and with recurrent plays, it ultimately sounds like a strange mixture of 80’s synth pop, ambient house, with tones of gothic concepts, accompanied by out of place disjointed sounds, and a driving beat throughout – leaving it difficult to place. It is both current and futuristic, whilst subtly throwing a nod to the last few decades.
The track listing is postmodern, with single word names such as ‘Arms’ and ‘Lying’. A song that is prototypical to the album as a whole is debut single ‘Mouth’, a mix of ambient house and haunting vocals. Other highlights include ‘How’ has a great juxtaposition of an upbeat melody, but Ghost Culture delivers the song in the style of a lullaby, and ‘Glaciers’, is reminiscent of a black and white film from the early 20th century, which develops into a waltz as the song progresses.
The album sounds like a very personal collection of songs and refuses to conform to anything – you will not find yourself singing along or maybe not relating to it, but by no means does it make it a bad album – instead, if this is an indication of what is to come this year, 2015 looks very promising.By Sophie Goodall