“Nightworks” – Caught A Ghost (self-released EP)
This EP, from LA band Caught A Ghost, is way more enjoyable to listen to than it has any right to be. Normally, when someone recommends a CD to me and calls it “super dance-y and smooth,” I’m pretty terrified. It’s not that I’m not into fun music, I just like it when my tunes have a deeper, darker spirit to them.
Luckily, Caught A Ghost provides me with that dark undertone that I’m always hoping to hear. This neo-soul EP manages to be super groovy, and the familiarity of the blues and jazz elements makes listening to each track an incredibly nostalgic experience. While this album’s mastery of soul is impressive enough, each track also incorporates more modern stylings. Some tracks have hip-hop elements, and all tracks on the album are layered with electronic beats. This combination of styles really works for Caught A Ghost, and the evidence is in the songs.
Start with any track, because honestly, they are all awesome. I first fell in love with “Sleeping At Night,” and I think that’s because I listened to it on some really amazing speakers. It’s worth getting a sound system with great bass to listen to it, because the wobbly, belchy womps at the bottom kind of make the whole thing out-of-this-world amazing.
“Time Go” is deceptively slow at the start, but when the watery background vocals come in, it shows it’s worthy of repeat listens. Then there’s those lo-fi, mumbled ramblings that remind us that life really sucks. The desperate plea, “Where does the time go?” though somewhat cliche, really resonates as a pressing concern by the end of the track. The sad lament for a basic principle of reality makes everything seem just a little bit more upsetting (in that existential way that we all can relate to).
On “Connected,” they get authentically retro, producing a track that sounds like it could be straight out of the sixties. And I’d be amiss to forget to mention lead singer, Jesse Nolan, and his impressive vocals. His crooning is genuinely soulful, and he hits those high notes like the best of them (especially on “Somehow’).
This EP reminds you how to feel both triumphant and hopeless. It seems like a tall order, but this neo-soul gem manages to fuse genres, instruments, and emotions and create an exciting, moving sound.
Honestly, the only complaint I have with the album has to do with their cover art. I’m not totally sure how hot women in lingerie posing with records represent the content of the album. I guess I’ll just ignore that since I’m listening to this digitally anyway, and the cover art isn’t that obvious to me. But it is worth mentioning.
Caught A Ghost will be opening with Body Parts for Hands at the Echo on Monday, April 22. For more info at the show, visit the Echo’s website.