That Ghost – Unthemes (Rarities 2008-2014)

a1202260336_2 I’ve written about That Ghost plenty of times in the past, but never had much impression that the band were taking off.

That can happen in the internet age, of course. They are based in California, I am some random jackass in Scotland, so I have no idea how much traction they’re achieving amongst their local audience, but Ryan is now retiring the That Ghost name, so I guess they never quite achieved what I think they should have.

As either a swansong or a simple requiem, this new release is just a collection of unreleased bits and pieces, and judging from the title one which is more of a pile of songs rather than anything with too much purpose or coherence.

If you’re a fan of the band, however, then it’s nice to hear. I last wrote about them over two years ago, but I have always liked their stuff. Ryan will be going on to do new things of course, but I am still glad he has enough time for his old project to release these songs into the world.

That Ghost actually largely pre-date the lo-fi enthusiasm, but the treated vocals and tinny drums sit roughly in that territory, although the songs don’t really have the venom of a lot bands you’d call lo-fi. It’s not nasty like a lot of the punk-influenced stuff, or woozy like a lot of the chillwave movement and its antecedents, but it has elements of both of these things, and an unhurried pace of its own.

It’s always a bit sad when a band you like ceases to exist, but fuck it, this is really good and despite not being a proper album, so to speak, is still a really fitting epitaph for a band which may not have revolutionised anything, but which were still pretty fucking excellent at what they did.