Don’t you love it when you discover an artist for the first time and it feels like they’ve been in your collection forever straight away? This is the exact feeling Angharad Drake gave me when I first heard “Ghosts” – her new album. It’s indie folk rock from the very top-tier and exactly the kind of folk rock I like – dark and with a kick.
“Baby” opens with a deceptively lulling track as Drake coos you in with little vocal motifs and then scolds you with percussive splashes. Angharad’s voice is crystal clean. She doesn’t push into a scream – she can hold her own emotion in a normal singing voice. It balances wisdom and youth depending on the octave. When it comes to style “Armour” shows both youth and wisdom well too, as each track on the album has a simple underlay of chords but every track as that pinch of sadness and kooky to it. Here, its in the way chords bend off and so what should be a quiet beauty, actually has a quiet sting in the music. “Bullet” utterly epitomises this with a fantastic riff, acid tinged lyrics as she sings “I got a bullet babe, but I don’t have a gun” – speaking of being a loose cannon without the spark to set her off. It’s a fantastic single in waiting and title track “Ghost” compliments it so well with its fragile acoustic guitar and Drake singing with a lump in her throat – you can her despondence it in every word.
The middle of the album is stuffed full of warm pauses for thought. “Heaven Knows” is a wonderfully paced ballad, and the rich close to the speaker guitar playing on “Carpet” is the equivalent of a musical hug. The latter track feels so timeless and a perfect representation of her talents. “Need Me” and “Honey in the Rock” are more of the acoustic strummer types, with “Honey in the Rock” eventually taking a prog rock finale which feels like the album rising back from its quiet spot and exploding back into life again. I really appreciate a flowing album and this albums track listing has been carefully crafted.
The final quarter returns to a more electric folk sound with “Dogs” having an unusual chord back and forth that gives it a gallop, “Every Little Thing” veers towards country without taking it on fully due to its darker tones before “Mountain” and the almost vocal only “Let it Go” showcase Angharad’s voice front and centre behind a more celestial ethereal and lighter sound. I could listen to that crystalline vocal all night long – and I urge you do to the same.
Recommended Track : Bullet