ALBUM REVIEW: Anna Von Hausswolff – All Thoughts Fly

Anna Von Hausswolff is a singer-songwriter who has always embraced a progressive attitude to creativity. Never unafraid to straddle genres as diverse as metal, Krautrock, and dark pop, and always remaining elusively undefinable, she has made waves over the past decade with her four previous albums and numerous illustrious collaborations. As well as following her own unique musical path, Von Hausswolff (to name just a few of her achievements and endeavours): runs a record label, has guested with Wolves in the Throne Room and Swans, has supported Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and has hosted visual art exhibitions. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: MJ Guider – Sour Cherry Bell

Sour Cherry Bell (Kranky) is the second full-length release from New Orleans-based artist Melissa Guion, who releases music under the moniker MJ Guider. It primarily deals in atmosphere. Guion uses heavily processed electronic textures, often drenched in thick treacle-like reverb, to create moody and evocative soundscapes. There are synthetic drum sounds, but this is certainly not dance music. The emotion-laden washy chord sequences recall the 1980s “Gothic” music and perhaps the “shoegaze” that followed in its footsteps, but this is music that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Many of the sound-worlds have a lush warmth which lends them a meditative quality, but there is also an unsettling element of tension, as though dissonance and harmony are in competition with each other. Guion’s voice is tender and graceful and with it, she weaves flowing melodies. But the voice is often intentionally distant – buried in the mix and concealed by long reverb tails. It feels as though Guion has intentionally engineered a situation where opposing elements battle it out for dominance. These songs could have been presented in a radio-friendly indie package, but instead, the melodies and words only just lift their heads above the walls of noise that encase them. It takes audacity and boldness to attempt this sort of approach which flouts so many of the accepted rules of composition and music production. It seems that Guion was pushing the boundaries of her creativity and her tools: “I was curious to see how far I could go with them, even if that meant reaching the ends of their capacity to do what I wanted.” Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: A.A. Williams – Forever Blue

It is easy to forget that Forever Blue is the debut album from AA Williams, such is the level of status she has already acquired since first taking to the stage only last year. In the meantime, she has garnered a huge amount of critical acclaim, released a self-titled EP, and collaborated with Mono before releasing Forever Blue.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jaye Jayle – Prisyn

Prisyn is an album that deals in opposites. On one hand, it is an expression of Evan Patterson’s artistic freedom, in the sense that it is quite far removed from Jaye Jayle’s previous works both in terms of sound and creative process. On the other hand, that creative process was linked to circumstances of enforced restriction and confinement. The album’s title itself – Prisyn – alludes to a ‘synthetic prison’ according to Patterson himself. The work was conceived while Patterson was on an extended tour. He began to compose music in these limited conditions using just his iPhone. Instead of fleshing out or reworking the pieces with the usual Jaye Jayle band, Patterson enlisted Ben Chisholm’s (Chelsea Wolfe) help to embellish and produce the songs. The result is an album of primarily electronic music: tense, brooding and claustrophobic. But, in the spirit of opposites, there is a counterpoint to the cold synth textures in the form of Patterson’s deep and rich voice. As he sings in the very first line of opener ‘A Cold Wind’, ‘The darkness meets the lightness / Or rather the lightness meets the darkness’. Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode 111: Henry Derek Elis on His Solo Career and Inspiration

Ghost Cult scribe Duncan Evans caught up by phone with singer-songwriter Henry Derek Elis for an interview about his new covers EP, All The Pretty Little Horses. Henry is best known as the former vocalist for metal bands Scar The Martyr and Act of Defiance, but his solo career has taken him down a path closer to Outlaw Country, Americana, and Dark Folk. Henry chatted about the new EP, his choice of artists to cover such as Danzig and Billy Idol, the difference between his metal music and solo career, his take on how watered-down “folk” music has become his influences and opinions of classic artists, and much more. You can order Henry’s music at this link: Continue reading

PODCAST: #Episode 108 – Carol Hodge on “Savage Purge”

Ghost Cult Magazine’s Duncan Evans caught up with singer/songwriter and all-around badass Carol Hodge (solo artist/Steve from Crass/The Wildhearts) to discuss her new album Savage Purge (review here). Carol was in high spirits, despite illness, and chatted all about her new album, her creative process, the deeper meaning behind the title, lyricism, and much more! You can order her album at this link here, and listen to their chat right now!

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PODCAST: Episode 104: KatieJane Garside on Liar, Flower and New Beginnings

Ghost Cult scribe Duncan Evans chatted with music legend KatieJane Garside recently on the release of her new project, Liar, Flower, and her new release Geiger Counter (One Little Independent Records). You may know Garside from her immense career credits with groups such as Daisy Chainsaw, QueenAdreena, and more recently Ruby Throat. Far removed from her early rumblings, the wisened and more poetic chanteuse discussed her new album, the decision to recast the group under a new moniker with her partner Chris Whittingham, her many travels around the world living on a boat, mindfulness meditation, the music video for ‘i am sundress (she of infinite flowers)’, the care and creativity she takes for the expanded versions of Geiger Counter and much more. Purchase the album and keep up with all of KatieJane’s happenings at this link, and listen the chat below.

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More Free Offers of Services for Bands Impacted by Coronavirus Cancellations

The only way the music community is going to come out on the other side of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic is by pulling together and helping each other. A lot of experts as saying it’s not going to come back the way it did before, and they might be right. But in the meantime let’s uplift each other and help each other make it through. Ghost Cult scribe and music marketing expert Matt Bacon has pulled together this list from across musicians, producers, journalists, and other music industry folks to offer help. Continue reading