Ghostpoet – Dark Days and Canapes

Often, despite writing poetry, I don’t know where the line is between poetry and song lyrics. Thankfully the mumbled spoken word of Ghostpoet stops the questions and starts the listening as he oscillates between the depth and meaning of poetry and experimental electronic sounds. I don’t know what the genre tag is for his music and it’s all the better for it.

As the name suggests; Dark Days and Canapes, rarely expresses an emotion beyond ‘alright’. I’m not judging, I get it: sometimes it’s better to say ‘I’m alright’ than give a dishonest answer and the best poetry and lyrics come from a place of honesty and so it goes that Ghostpoet leads us through some of the experiences that make up Dark Days and Canapes, I can only guess but, with success probably comes a lot more canapes but as we know, success doesn’t always bring happiness.

The album opener One More Sip sounds a lot like Idioteque from Kid A, electronic and sparse while the second track Many Moods at Midnight starts off optimistic but gets darker as it goes, like any good night that goes on late.

The most catchy and light tune on the album is Freakshow which I hear as a critique of social media particularly in the lines ‘Nothing keeps on following me so I swiped left and figured out: it’s a freak show’. The song isn’t made catchy and light by the lyrics, but by female backing vocals which, if you’ll pardon the bad English makes it more ‘songy’. The musicality continues with Dopamine if I Do where additional female vocals, guitar and piano break up Ghostpoets monologues and give, the song an uplifting melody.

The next track, Live>Leave is more recognisably Ghostpoet, not only because there are no vocals except his own but because it’s cautiously optimistic as he intones that, ‘I’m afraid of the future, I’ve forgiven the past.’

The relative positivity continues with Blind As a Bat which requires the close attention of a poem to really ‘get’….the most poignant line being ‘In my head, where I can’t see, it’s all palm trees and bikinis.’, alluding to the nature of perception and the lines between self and reality.

Overall, Dark Days and Canapes is thought provoking and endearing although probably not the soundtrack to getting ready, but what you put on when you’ve come back and are ready to listen.

Dark Days and Canapes is available pre-order now from:

Release Date 18th August 2017 (Play It Again Sam)

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When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?