This is the debut album by Ghost of You, a young four-piece band from Brno in the Czech Republic and it was released in October 2015.
The opener ‘Armenia’ bears many of the hallmarks of their sound, with powerful staccato drums placed well forward in the mix, twangy guitar and washes of synths – as well Jim Morrison-esque lyrics such as ‘I’ve learnt to disappear in the ocean between us’. These are all sung in very clear English and are often enigmatic, giving the listener plenty of room for speculation. The psychedelic tag has been applied to the group and, in the track ‘Hermaphrodite’ the words “get high in a rabbit hole” certainly conjure up Alice in Wonderland and 1967.
All the lyrics were written by guitarist Tomáš Novohradský with the exception of ‘As If You Died at My Birth’, by vocalist Štěpán Pařízek, and the general mood of the album is on the dark side with references to ghost towns, darkness, swamps, wolves, worms, ruins and caves. Lines are often repeated again and again especially in the tracks ‘Flesh and Worms’ and ‘As If You Died at My Birth’ while sometimes words are played with for their sound rather than their meaning (e.g. ‘joking and choking’ in the final track ‘Process’).
The music was composed by the four group members and there are echoes of Radiohead, particularly in the way the third track, ‘From The Top of Their Lungs’, grinds to a halt. The great drum sound brings back memories of Blondie’s Clem Burke, while the synths are at times very ‘old school’ – much of ‘Process’ could have been created by recording pioneer Joe Meek of ‘Telstar’ fame.
It’s a short record – eight tracks with a total playing time of thirty-one and a half minutes – but apparently they felt it wasn’t necessary to say more than this. It was produced by Ondřej Ježek and the band seem to have been very happy with his guidance and inspiration. Who can blame them? With its freshness and vitality this is an impressive first album.