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AAA Music | 20 October 2019

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The Ghosts – The End

| On 15, Apr 2012

Usually I wouldn’t let a band get away with as portentous an album title as “The End” but considering the twin facts that tragedy metaphorically shaped and literally formed The Ghosts and that The End is one of the most openly brilliant pop albums of the year I hold my hands up. They can call their album whatever they want. The Ghosts can own me if they so wish. Anyway, the tragedy comes from mainman Alex Starling’s experiences in his old band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, and everyone with a passing interest in Indie Rock knows what happened there. After the tragic suicide of frontman Charles Haddon, Starling formed The Ghosts as a form of catharsis, in the process making some of the most simultaneously glorious and heavy synth-pop in the past decade presented on this, their debut album.
Coming across like a mix of The Lightning Seeds and Hot Chip, The Ghosts sound is proudly pure pop, with sky-scraping chorus’, nagging keyboard lines and, especially in the case of opening track and lead single Ghosts, clipped guitar lines that fit the song like a glove. While the lead instrument for most of the record is synths, deployed gloriously I might add, some of the most special moments come in the most intimate ones. Take album closer Unless, it’s acoustic led, understated and quite marvellous, with Alex Starling’s sighing vocal straining to hide an untold amount of loss. And I’ll be damned if I didn’t hear a banjo in there somewhere but that could just be me. They’ve Started Guarding is another acoustic led number in the same vein, this time more mournful than before, bringing to mind, strangely enough, Oasis’ The Masterplan in its stately march. It’s not all acoustic gloom though, the aforementioned lead single is a four to the floor stomper that’s probably the best thing on the record and Underrated sounds like what spins forever in the club Morrissey talks about in How Soon Is Now.
In all, this is a pretty astonishing record, showing just how artistic pop music can get when the right people create it. Inspirational, beautiful and absolutely necessary to your continued existence, check this out as soon as possible.

Author: Will Howard