Preaching from the Pews: Guilty Ghosts

Preaching from the Pews: Guilty Ghosts

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‘Guilty Ghosts’ is the work platform of Brooklyn-based Tristan O’Donnell, who released his new EP ‘Trespasser’ this month. What I immediately loved about these tracks was the way they use relatively straight-forward and familiar instrumentation to much longer effect.

It is not self-consciously experimental; managing to craft its ambience without over-indulging in decadent heaps of synth and reverb that smother over the cracks of each other. Rightly or wrongly, this approach feels a little more organic and trustworthy on first listen.

I enjoy its off-hand steadiness, flowing with what feels like the most natural of paces, building a tapestry of hums and beats, moving with grace, and a collaborative force.

Dynamics are found in the instrumentation, and the dualities that play themselves out across the record. The beats and claps of ‘Wailing Wall’ are deft but gentle, while the guitar’s tight but refined weeping adds direction, as well as colour. What at first may sound simply inoffensive, develops into something that is just brilliantly understated.

As the EP goes on, we begin to hear more tone seep from the guitar, a little more echo bleeding from the notes. As if it were an air of doubt emerging in its own dwelling, or perhaps it is that whilst sitting on its own accomplished rhythm section it now tries to let loose and reach for slightly more analogous acoustics. In this manner, the progression of the EP works marvellously.

The penultimate track ‘Rendezvous’ marks perhaps the most notable shifting point, as it injects a punch more pace and vigour into the tonal wanderings, before it then slips into the aching sleep of ‘Infinites’ and eventually, silence.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.