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Album Review: The Black Ghosts- When Animals Stare

The project of Theo Keating (“Fake Blood”) and Simon Lord (“Skywave”), When Animals Stare is the exciting second album by The Black Ghosts, released through Southern Fried Records.  Combining the release of their self-titled debut album in 2008, producers throwing Full Moon into the opening scene of Twilight, and the duos unusual, if not strange, electro take on indie-pop, you get no less than a devoted and diverse fan base- from teenage girls with a penchant for the unusual to the (slightly more obvious) electro-underground music sector.

Since album opener Water Will Find A Way was played on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show, When Animals Stare became one of the most anticipated albums of 2011. It’s evident that, over the space of three years, a lot of thought has gone into the production of When Animals Stare- it’s much more settled, mature almost, and far less techno-driven. But that’s not to say this album is boring, or in any way disappointing; au contraire. By being more relaxed, Simon’s song writing talent is able to shine through, with his eerie vocals and delicate lyrics almost floating over the subtle, electro-meet-indie beat. The repetitive rhythms offer a melancholy element to the songs; this is more obvious with the unnerving screeches of violins in Diamonds and unruly piano chords in Sanguinella.

The least ‘ghostly’ track on the album, Talk No More, has a faster-paced, upbeat bassy-riff that initially reminded me of The Black Keys (think the intro of She’s Long Gone). With the occasional (appropriate) shout, Talk No More does Simon’s surprisingly wide-ranging vocals justice, which are seemingly less apparent on the rest of the album. Aurora Borealis has a more hypnotic arrangement that’s fit for a soundtrack if you ever found yourself floating through space. Which not only could happen but I also suppose is inevitable, given the name of the track itself…

The Black Ghosts have developed immensely over the past three years, finding the middle-ground between hard-hitting electro and indie-rock to create a sound that’s all their own. The ethereal aura to the entire album that’s somehow refreshing and warming makes me think both album and band are appropriately named. Although there is something haunting about that which makes me think twice before I listen to When Animals Stare alone in the dark.

For any and all info on The Black Ghosts just look at to their facebook!

-Charlie Clarkson

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