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Ghosts - The World Is Outside

Ghosts, The World Is Outside

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

GHOSTS embody the spirit of chart-friendly indie. Their songs are impossibly catchy, their sound almost always upbeat and their style evocative of everyone from Coldplay and The Delays through to The Dandy Warhols and Fleetwood Mac.

That’s both a good and a bad thing. On the positive side, it means they’re virtually impossible to dislike. With songs like Stay The Night and title track The World Is Outside they capture a genuinely feel-good vibe and get you singing along, while your feet tap in tandem.

On the downside, they’re extremely lightweight and there’s a danger that songs will fade from the memory as quickly as they arrived. For now, though, let’s concentrate on the positives given that The World Is Outside marks an impressive debut album that should help win them plenty of deserved fans.

Ghosts are comprised of Simon Pettigrew on vocals, Robbie Smith on bass, Mark Treasure on keyboards and Johnny Harris on drums. They first met at school and have been together, in one guise or another, ever since, which would explain why they sound so self-assured and so very accomplished.

The happy go-lucky melodies and sugar-spun choruses hook you in from opening salvo Stay The Night, a cheeky romp of a record that’s all about the thrill of a night of passion (“take a chance and stay the night”). The stabs of brass reference early Cure, while the chorus could be ripped out of an early Bluetones record – yet somehow the song remains sparkling enough to leave you happily anticipating the rest of the album.

Musical Chairs continues the bouncy vibe and then The World Is Outside provides a shimmering blend of keyboards and bass that fizzes with energy and a laidback sense of style that’s strangely reminiscent, at times, of The Dandy Warhol’s You Were The Last High.

There’s a jazzy style surrounding the piano led Mind Games, which hints at even wider crossover appeal, while the achingly tender Something Hilarious taps into the style of early Coldplay to effortlessly capture that kind of fanbase.

There’s a sense, occasionally, that Ghost’s music is impossibly upbeat in a way that evokes the spirit of bands like The Feeling (especially on tracks such as Stop) but just when you think you have the measure of them, they proceed to deliver something like Further And Further Away, which mixes breezy electro pop with more Warhols-inspired psychedelia, and the epic final track Temporary, a brilliant track upon which to wrap things up.

Temporary is a six-minute slow-builder that starts very slowly, even tenderly, before unfolding into a sprawling, euphoric and utterly glorious wall of sound. It’s the crowning achievement of an impressive debut album that cements Ghosts’ reputation as one of the brightest bands of the moment, as well as posing plenty of potential for the future.

So, cast your reservations aside and simply enjoy. We defy everyone not to find something to like…

Download picks: Stay The Night, The World Is Outside, Something Hilarious, Further And Further Away, Temporary

Track listing:

  1. Stay The Night
  2. Musical Chairs
  3. World Is Outside
  4. Ghosts
  5. Mind Games
  6. Something Hilarious
  7. Stop
  8. Over Analysis
  9. Further And Further Away
  10. Wrapped Up In Little Stars
  11. Temporary