Trans-Atlantic alternative neo-folk collective Lusitanian Ghosts present ‘Shameless’, a song about love, regret and reconciliation, which previews the band’s forthcoming ‘Lusitanian Ghosts III’ album (out in autumn via European Phonographic). This is the second taste of their full-length album, following up the first life-affirming single ‘The Long Train’.
Lusitanian Ghosts is a Portuguese-Canadian-Swedish project that resurrects lost Portuguese chordophones and other European string instruments, promoting ancient sounds in the 21st century. Re-casting these heritage folk violas into rock n roll songs, the European artist collective writes from a socio-political perspective on building a better world, creating songs for the heart and mind, recording on analogue tape and releasing moving music on vinyl.
Founded by Neil Leyton and Micke Ghost, the collective is currently made up of João Sousa, Abel Beja (from Primitive Reason), ToZé Bexiga (from Raia) and Jan-Eric Olsson, performing on traditional Portuguese chordophone instruments, ancient regional guitars like the Amarantina, Beiroa, Campaniça, Braguesa, Toeira and Terceirense. These instruments, once on the verge of extinction, are the real “Lusitanian Ghosts” – Lusitania being an ancient Celtic tribe in what would become the central territory of Portugal.
“We were having a photo shoot with Katja Ruge at Clouds Hill in Hamburg and she was telling us over and over again to look fierce. So there I was, lookin’ all fierce when this really cool, post punkish bass line appeared in my head. It just kept going so, as soon as we had a little break, I took Janne aside and asked him to play it on the Rickenbacker bass. When I heard it I started singing ”Shameless” to myself and quickly gathered Abe and ToZe to play some chords, Johnny to play some rhythm on his knees and Neil to sing some backup,” explains Micke Ghost.
“The song kind of wrote itself and pretty soon we were all singing Shameless from the top of our lounges. It couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes from when I heard the bass line until it was finished. We recorded it really quick pretty much live off the floor right after the photo shoot was over. Sometimes you get lucky. Shamelessly lucky!”
Engineered and mixed by Sebastian Muxfeldt (Elbow, Peter Doherty, Teenage Fanclub) at Clouds Hill Studios in Hamburg, the Ghosts once again offer a brilliant taste of the sonic prism through which they present ancient sounds in the 21st Century.
Recorded and mixed on analogue tape, this music features the violas Amarantina, Campaniça and Terceira in glorious mono and stereo versions, bringing a new vintage chordophone rock n roll sound from the Ghosts. It was tracked on a Studer A820 2″ analogue tape machine, mixed down to 1/4 inch tape on the AEG Magnetophon 15 A, including both stereo and mono mixes.
From a deep love of rock n roll rooted in strong vocal traditions from Elvis Presley to David Bowie, Neil Leyton and Micke Ghost craft folk-rock songs that will appeal to fans of The Waterboys, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and newer alt-folk-rock experimental crossings of rock n roll with other genres and traditions, like XIXA.
Lusitanian Ghosts’ sophomore album ‘Exotic Quixotic’ was released with a Deluxe Edition featuring bonus tracks, adaptations of the title track into Portuguese and Polish, feat. Joana Negrão (A Cantadeira) and Misia Furtak.