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Ghost Prom - Void Sweet Void (Wally Opus Records)

27 November 2023

I’ve seen Ghost Prom described as a folk duo, which, in a way, they are, but to label them simply as such is to do them such a disservice as there is so much more going on here. The influences and infusions from these non-folk, nether regions often make their music so unusual.

If Void Sweet Void is a folk album, it is folk music made by people who don’t want to be folk artists, or at least people who want to tear folk music down and build something else. Often, their music wanders into noirish dream states, lilting psychedelia, understated college rock, alt-country hazes, or anything but sticking to the folk script. And it is brilliant.

The opener, “5 am” sets the scene perfectly, a decidedly not-folk slice of understated, underground, alt-rock, a track that balances the growl of abrasive guitars with hazy, late-night vibes, defying labeling and inviting further inspection…everything that an opening song should do. And whilst tracks such as “Let Me Alone” sound like *Simon and Garfunkel” in their darker moments, hushed and heavenly yet very much of this earth, vulnerable and slightly broken, the brilliant “Gramma” is a neat slice of the ’90s infused alt-rock, ebbing and flowing between spaciousness and crescendo, space and anthemics.

It is an intriguing album. Perhaps it hints at the idea that folk music is a broad church, and there is room within for their sometimes shimmering, sometimes raw riffs. It probably reminds us of how stupid and not up to the task at hand generic labels are, and always were.

Either way, you should buy this. It’s as magical an album as it is unexpected.

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