Description: Ghost Carriage Phantoms release their debut album ‘The Boy Lives’ through Marketstall Records on the 12th November as a limited edition (500 only), hand packaged, numbered CD set featuring pictures, lyrics and more.
‘The Boy Lives’ is the first installment of a series of releases tied together under the initialed banner ‘GCP’. This record, the debut album from Merthyr Tydfil born songwriter Michael James Hall was created over a three month period in early 2012 with fellow GCP collaborator Mark Estall at the helm, taking charge of arrangement and production duties.
It’s a strange pop record, ten songs drawn from the darker realms of the imagination and bounced around the parameters of lo-fi, drone, shimmering pop and DIY claustrophobia - based around the conceit of making a record that would sound like ‘the ghost of a robot child’.
While tracks like opener ‘Heart Of A Boy’ draw their musical inspiration from the likes of Perfume Genius and Plush and the chiming ‘Up To My T-Shirt’ perhaps recalls Graham Coxon, it’s with songs like schizoid ‘Good Luck And Good Bowling’ and the frankly terrifying spoken word piece ‘The Projectionist’ that the breath is truly taken away.
A piano ballad that references Morrissey (‘Woody Allen Movie’) and a jaunty, unhinged fantasy that lauds Shamu, Seaworld’s killer whale, before namechecking Paul Westerberg (‘The Psychedelic Furs’) gives an idea of how addled with pop culture and trivia Mr Hall’s misfiring mind really is. At least it’s an entertaining place to visit.
Drawn from home demos, a couple of which were put to tape nearly a decade ago, most of which were cobbled together on garageband during the 2010 World Cup, Mark and Michael then went through the process of tearing out all elements of singer-songwriter bullshit and reconstructing the songs as modern, off-kilter bedroom pop, the results being this singularly strange and luminescent record that reflects both the inventive spirit of GCP and their handy way around a stunning tune.
LOOK OUT FOR the second ‘GCP” record, Grace Cathedral Park’s ‘Ante Rock’ coming on Marketstall Records in Spring 2013.