Fellow music hacks have often pointed out to me that there is probably more money to be earned if I shifted my focus from grassroots music to writing about the big name bands. Perhaps, but why would I want to write about what Dave Grohl had for lunch or interview some vacuous indie band about their love of Oasis (yawn!) when I can hang out, virtually speaking, with bands like Love Ghost? Why indeed?
In the same way that the band know that there are easier paths to pursue than original, alternative, genre-hopping music, I know that it is also this path that I am happiest when writing about. So here we both are, doing our relative things…the hard way and not wishing to change it for the world. After all, in the case of Love Ghost, what would you change? Their searing, soaring…and occasionally sawing viola, their grating and groovesome guitars, the tsunami beats, the pulsing bass, the collision of grunge swagger and almost indie-pop infectiousness? See, you wouldn’t change a thing.
Quiet Voices is the perfect mix of dynamics and drama, of prowling, weighted rock and deft musical textures, of having heavy guitars and brooding beats travelling in one direction and then skewering classical delicacy through them at 90 degrees.
Over the centuries classical composers from Beethoven to Bartok have embraced everything from folk ditties, gypsy tunes, klezmer and southern spiritual, so given the similarities between classical and rock music, adding strings seems like an obvious move. Obvious maybe, but few have merged the discipline as well as Love Ghost do on Quiet Voices.
I guess it is that balance of the familiar and the unexpected that really does the trick…well, unexpected if you are new to the band, a welcome embrace if you have been following their musical output to date. Familiar in that if you slipped a Love Ghost song on to a compilation of 90’s bands from the Pacific North West scene it wouldn’t seem out of place yet unexpected because of the classicism that lurks in and around the core of the song. If ever there was a band caught between a rock and a soft place*…this is it.
*meant in the most complimentary of ways.