Making your holiday checklist? Of course you will take a bathing suit, sun screen, towels, books and some exercise gear to ignore. But don't forget the ghosts. To be clear, I am referring to Holiday Ghosts, late of Falmouth and now resident in Brighton. The primary apparitions are drummer Katja Rackin and guitarist Sam Stacpoole, although for new album North Street Air, their third, they enjoy contributions of various willing and available friends.
Holiday Ghosts aren't an easy crew to typecast. They draw references to a number of other bands, each such reference being more or less apt depending on the song. Those references include The Kinks, Beat Happening, Modern Lovers, Violent Femmes, and Australian bands Terry, Twerps and Dick Diver, among others. But the common threads in their songs are intensely rhythmic arrangements, upbeat tempos, group singing and a garage rock attitude that is both distinctive and highly appealing. And it should be noted that Holiday Ghosts' brand of garage rock is inclusive of rock, country, pop, and a taste of psychedelia. They spin good stories, decorate them well, and then sell them with driving performances.
I don't get any special prize for being an 'early adopter' of Holiday Ghosts, except the satisfaction of hearing music I love from demo stage through the new album (I first discovered them when looking up what Sam Stacpoole was doing because I have followed his previous band). But that is enough for me. There is much to like about this band, but one of the most impactful for me is that their music sounds so vital. They perform every track like they are live and this song is the most important and fun song they will every play. And at that moment, it may well be the most important and fun song in your life too. What more could you ask for from a set of songs?
North Street Air is out now via FatCat Records.