Ghosting Season – The Very Last Of Saints
If there was a release I was genuinely really looking forward to sometime this year, ‘The Very Last Of The Saints’ would be it. I started to follow Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale when they were still performing as Worriedaboutsatan and it was fascinating to see them change direction and develop a completely new sound that managed to captivate the audience that probably was not so familiar with their previous works. I was the front row proud fan at Apparat’s gig at London’s Scala about a year ago, watching a gig where nothing went wrong and overhearing comments coming from mouths of people who never heard of Ghosting Season before, so full of appreciation and respect.
‘The Very Last Of The Saints’ complements the preceding ‘Far End Of The Graveyard’ EP and anyone who’s not familiar with it I strongly advise to get their hands on it as soon as possible (because it’s brilliant). It’s hard to talk about the album without any relation to the EP as they coexist in perfect symbiosis and build together this unique world of atmospheric, pure yet spooky electronica. The echoes of the drum machine in ‘Far End Of The Graveyard’, which makes the second track of the album, somehow remind me of sticks cracking under your feet while you walk through a dark, foggy forest. The melody is so articulate it almost immediately inspires ideas for visuals – and what I can see is an ethereal figure wandering around between tombs, captured by branches, with hair and clothing getting tangled…
The influences on the album are quite interesting to say the least, from ambient and IDM via dubstep (yes, I know how we hate the word but I don’t think anyone came up with a better genre for Burial yet and ‘Follow Your Eyes’ definitely strikes a resemblance) to post rock. All those influences only prove musical eloquence of the duo and are contributing pieces to their unique, experimental musical landscapes. Landscaping definitely comes to mind while listening to ‘Lie/Through Your Teeth’ where samples of a man describing his dream are mixed with what sounds like graphite against paper, sketching the vision as it’s being told. In the same song, the distant echoes of sounds, contrasted with clear, gentle beats and heavy bass undertones for me as a listener create this dreamy sequence where the beat becomes my heartbeat and the echoes come from somewhere deep down inside the heart. I once read the album being described as ‘gothic electronica’ and it’s definitely gothic if we think along the lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Crow’ – dark, mysterious, gloomy and, nomen omen, ghostly.
My absolute favourite on the album is ‘Time Without Question’. The way the beat unravels, the layering of the sounds, the drums – they all build up to this captivating, completely overpowering heart of the composition. I never know how to describe the feeling when the melody, however spooky it may be (as it is in this instance) just fills me up, uplifts me and literally makes me want to burst with joy – but it’s more of a joy of being able to experience the incredibleness of music. I’ve seen ‘Time Without Question’ performed live quite a few times now and every single one of them the only word that comes to mind to describe it is ‘genius’.
‘The Very Last Of The Saints’ easily became one of my albums of the year. The music is simply captivating. It’s amazing how Gavin and Thomas developed the concept of Ghosting Season as a band and how it follows through in their music. Their live shows are incredible and I urge everyone to go and see them if they have a chance. They bring a breath of fresh air to alternative and experimental scene and for me they perfectly fill the gap between the post rock and ambient I know by heart and the electronica that’s too clean cut. I’m scared to use the word ‘perfection’ but I just can’t seem to find a better one…
Out now through Bandcamp.
Posted by Magda Wrzeszcz
Tags: album review, Bandcamp, Ghosting Season, Magda, The Very Last Of Saints