Ghosts on TV (Finland) – Sunshine (single/track from forthcoming album)
The last time Ghosts on TV were here was in April last year, in collaboration with Francis North, an English poet.
This time the post-rock/alt-rock, minimalistic, melancholic ‘wall of sound’ exponents are on their own with a single that is also a track from their forthcoming eponymous second album, called ‘Sunshine’.
They say that In ‘Sunshine’ “our protagonists are spending their last day on earth, feeling content with their lives, having made peace with themselves. At the end of the day they wish farewell to their loved ones as they slowly lose their sense of gravity, floating into space and disintegrating into the cosmos. The inspiration for these lyrics came from Ari Aster’s 2019 film Midsommar and its somewhat macabre take on the cyclical nature of life. Yet I aspired to write about the experience of death in a more comforting and gentle way, perhaps even as an empowering experience. You could even say this is somewhat of a happy song.”
A few comments on that. The opening part makes it sound like the voiceover from Soylent Green if anyone can remember it, the 1970s film about involuntary euthanasia – which is coming – and how the dear departed were then turned into yummy green soya to feed the remainder of humankind. Better than insects I suppose.
And it begs the question why are they feeling content and have made peace with themselves? Is this some sort of suicide pact? Jonestown 2.0?
You have to ask these questions whenever you’re reviewing Finnish artists. They tend to be erudite and deep, man.
Ok, let’s put the philosophising aside. If you don’t know what a ‘’wall of sound” is, if you’ve never heard of Phil Spector (can I mention him?) or Trevor Horn, this is your introduction to it.
It’s unrelenting and it gets noisier and noisier, and dronier. U2 to the power of 10. Or 1024 if you prefer; which could be the dB. Those folks are surely getting a good send off. They should have used it for the closing scenes of ‘Close Encounters’.
Then there’s a short gentle bridge, as if they’re all trying to catch their collective breath, before the main melody returns, heaping layer upon layer and with the volume turned up to 11.
And yes, there is a distinct melody in there. And yes, it does engender a warm, content, even happy feeling.
There’s a vocal too, but I defy you to hear a word of it. It is consumed by the instrumentation. The lyricist, Anttoni Hill (not the band’s usual one), says the lyrics “are perhaps more abstract and written as a piece of fiction.” We’ll have to take him at his word.
The last time I heard anything like this, live, was when I went to see Swans a few years ago (and I couldn’t hear anything else for a week).
But, pardon the pun, this is infinitely better.
‘Ghosts on TV’ arrives on 14th April 2023 (Soliti Recordings)
With the new single comes also a scenic and serene lyric video made by Sonja Tolonen, so you can at least read those lyrics.
Ghosts on TV are:
Ossi Björn – Vocals, guitar
Anttoni Hill – Guitar
Aaro Tirronen – 12-string Guitar
Reko Kälkäjä – Keys
Otto Vahtola – Bass
Joona Kinnunen – Drums
Elsi Syrjäaho – Cello.
They have gigs in Finland as follows:
SAT 18.2. Turku, Indie-iltamat, Utopia
THUR 23.2. Helsinki, Helatorstai-klubi w/ Pasi Salmi
SAT 1.4. Tampere, Varjobaari w/ Thelma’s Dream & Musta Huone
SAT 22.4. Lappeenranta, Uus Hoi Sie
FRI 2.6. Helsinki, Album release show at Kuudes Linja w/ Ptrov & TBA
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