March 28, 2018 Ghost & The City – TIME (EP Review)
Breaking through out of the Oakland, California underground scene, a band known as Ghost & the City is getting their name out there in the Trip Hop/Groove genre. In fact, on Friday, March 30, 2018 Ghost & The City drop their new EP TIME via Spotify and Soundcloud.
Rapidly garnering notoriety as a West Coast musical force, Ghost & the City continues to boast a style that is multi-faceted and cannot be pinned down to a single genre. Composed of Vocalist Kia Fay, Songwriter/Keyboardist Ash Maynor, and Drummer Will Jenkins, Ghost & the City are quoted as trying to alchemize a sound that “captures cool blue light in a bottle.” So, how does their new EP hold up against their rumored excellence?
The first track, and lead single, “NWTA” starts things off with a smooth and simple Trip Hop vibe. With soulful vocals and heavy synth, the song lilts through different moods as it changes pace from slow and hypnotic to something a bit more uplifting, and then parachuting back down into a Jazz overtone. Then, “Steady Trippin” is very much in the same genre-melding vein as “NWTA” while taking jazzy bars with heartfelt vocals and synth sound to create an ambient experience. Even as “Steady Trippin” picks up pace, it continues to host its cool vibes and hazy atmospheric sound.
Moving on, “Grazy” is a bit more harsh and sharp, shedding the soft dreamy sound of the former two tracks. With more focus on Pop elements, it is a heartbreak anthem that falls somewhere between melancholic and subtly wrathful. In enough words, it breaks the water-like flow of the EP to introduce another facet to Ghost & the City. That said, when “Living Room” comes on, it immerses the listener back into the Trip Hop sound and Soul vocals that seem to evoke images on rainy window panes along with a steaming hot coffee at midnight.
Following up, “The Dippins” is a completely instrumental piece meant to highlight the band’s ambient musical style. Gentle, groovy, and dreamy, it is the perfect background music for meditation, reading, or just plain old ‘vibing out.’ In another change of pace, “Please Forgive My Heart” has a more Soul-heavy focus return to the EP. This is all the while still maintaining the surreal synth sound like a steady pulse as Fay begs, “Please forgive my heart.” Finally, seventh and last track, “Run Run” is a quick spiral into a more anxious sound, echoed in the opening lyrics: “Am I my own person? I’m still finding my spine.” Featuring more focus on drumming and rhythm, it breathes a sense of urgency and even Indie Pop vibe into the closing cut.
Ghost & the City are the new kids on the block that already have a reputation in progress. TIME definitely represents the excellence they are rumored to have, and even lends credence to their sound touted as “captures cool blue light in a bottle.” It is a collection of songs with heavy focus on ambient musical style. You will go through imagery as each note brings them somewhere new, be it a rainy day or a cool nighttime breeze. Overall, if you are a lover of Trip Hop and music to chill to, this is the band and EP for you. That is why CrypticRock gives TIME 4 out of 5 stars.