Calgary band Ghostkeeper released their third album Horse Chief! War Thief! on March 19, 2013. I gave the album a listen this weekend, and it was a roller coaster of fufilled expectations and strange new insights. I have been a fan of Ghostkeeper for many years and love their live shows. Shane is a humble performer with an amazing story telling ability. Ghostkeeper’s shows are always intimate and captivating. I became a fan from watching them live and have always looked forward to the chance to see them when they tour. Known for a raw sound with incredible lyrics, Ghostkeeper has a quirky style that they take to a new level in this album. Playing with sound they bring an experimental element to the album that intensifies their eccentric vibe. This album is bold, brave and dares to be different.
Some of the songs like Luella and Six reminded me of what I have come to expect from Ghostkeeper – quirky, fun, lyrical and catchy. Others have a completely different vibe; The Gospel Slinger is totally trippy and made me feel like I just walked into a modern art exhibit. It caught me off guard but made me feel cool for listening to it. The Children starts right after and intensifies that feeling, with strong drums that give a hint of Shane’s Aboriginal roots. This song has a horror feel, that is dark and intense. A dramatic song, it’s darkness could be hard to take, dependent on your mood. The album itself is enigmatic and boundary-testing, and although it’s fun to listen to a song like Luella, playing this album through provides an experience that is far more interesting. It pulls the listener in different directions, from trippy, intense and dark to light, airy and playful. So I would say, don’t just download one song. Buy the album, sit down, listen and experience it. Like their live shows, it’s worth your full attention.