Progressive in sound and emotionally charged, You Are Not Lost, You Are Here, the debut from newcomers These Ghosts is certainly a rewarding listen.
Having performed at the best of East Anglia’s venues, and been heavily backed by BBC Introducing in the area, the band look ready for bigger things as they release this fine collection. They now boast some more prominent appearances, including a show at London’s legendary 100 Club, and plays by Radio 1.
The Norwich three-piece take their cues from the alternative rock of bands like Radiohead and Mew: The pained vocals of frontman Calum Duncan are very much in the vein of Thom Yorke, displaying both fragility and power, and their dreamy ambience draws comparisons to classic Smashing Pumpkins. Although there is sadness in many of these songs, what really draws you is their warmth. This is especially true of ‘Fear of Flying’, which seems to channel Radiohead’s ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, and pairs Calum Duncan’s beautiful higher register and with an atmospheric string accompaniment.
Other highlights include the percussive urgency of debut single ‘Luna’ as well as the stripped-down album closer ‘The Escape’. However it is ‘Breath In/Breath Out’ that really lingers in my mind with Calum’s tortured wailings once again on top form as he belts out a monster of a chorus that obliterates anything in it’s path. For such a young band their songs display maturity and a level of intellect that would suggest they’ve been playing together for many years, with a depth of songwriting that many bands can only strive for.
Intense yet delicate, sombre yet uplifting, this is sonically bewitching stuff.
From James Smyllie.