We need to make our way through the deep, thick, Scandinavian forest, into the wilderness until we reach A Choir Of Ghosts, fingerpicking the guitar to folksy vigorous tunes to long for. The front person, Sweden-based James Augers’ musical foundation: the soil, is through the reminiscence of Kurt Cobain, topped with the water, sun and air of The Tallest Man On Earth and Hollow Coves, making ACOG give you a feeling of all shades of nostalgia.
The album opens with a monumental, symphonic intro, bringing in the dark atmosphere but also giving a sign of the musical quality of what's to come. If we're brutally honest here - and those who have read some of our reviews already know we always are - we have to admit this album brought something we rarely come across, something that we fell in love straight away.
What strikes the listener instantly, is not only the voice that A Choir Of Ghosts poses but his musicianship. Skillful fingerpicking combined with strings and often orchestral arrangements, yet maintaining the intimate feel and impact of the deep lyrics. This captures the saying that songwriting is a true craft.
"..I am ready to be reborn, just let me get back on track."
The title track is like a breath of fresh air comparing to the rest. Upbeat, catchy, with the strings playing a major part yet again. A standout from the already exquisite collection.
Southwest of The Moon is a gentle, melancholic piece written, as James says, "as an apology, both to himself to be stronger and asking for forgiveness to the people he has hurt." . The simple concept suits the lyrics the best. The lines "You’re gone, lonely and free, you said goodbye without saying a word. I’ll be quiet, hoping that you will say ‘come home‘” send shivers down your spine and bring a tear into your eye.
There's certain country/Americana feel to Driving Home which brightens the mood opposite to lyrics dealing with homesickness.
Song titles are often tricky as there are as many interpretations of the meaning as there are listeners. Better Off Alone seems to carry quite a clear message of hope and gathering inner strength to move forward. One can do a lot by himself but there are times when we all need somebody. "I don't know where I'm going I never had a home"
The closing track Taste of Smoke is a nice folk ballad, the strummed guitar sounds so different in comparison to the rest of the songs. We don't know whom the singer is talking to saying " But keep in mind that I am not the same as I was before. When I fold away another page, we’ll break through this storm." but it definitely strikes a chord again as something uplifting (when things/times change,you have to change along in order to adapt).