Bristol based Tremolo Ghosts, who despite the plural is actually a solo project for Welsh musician Owen Chambers, have just released their latest album, A Cardboard Sunset.  Variously described as lo-fi, experimental and Americana, this album defies categorisation; perhaps alt-experimental-indie-folk might get somewhere near to this music, but then again, perhaps we should stick to the description of label Wormhole World, who called the music ‘welshicana’.

If the inclusion of ‘experimental’ in the description alarms you, don’t worry.  Experimental as some of the tracks might be, they are on the more accessible side of that term, tucked in amongst the folk / Americana sounds.  The seven tracks are a mixture of lengths, the shortest being just fifty nine seconds and the longest clocking in at the more usual three minutes – all blend into one another seamlessly, making this album one of the most coherent sounds I’ve heard in a while.  A couple of times I had to check which track I was on, so fluently do they flow.

Before you read on, Tremolo Ghosts is giving a FREE download of “Neon Of Course”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!

Owen uses experimental field recordings, most notably for ‘Pink Smoke Rises Over Telephone Wires’, to achieve different sounds, although these are used throughout all tracks. The result is an intriguing level of incidental noise in the background, or even to the fore.  Vocals are surplus to requirements on some of these tracks which enhances the listening experience, even if you’re a fans of voices more than anything else.  ‘Standing By The Styx’ is a case in point – I was stopped in my tracks at first listen.  Alongside the rippling river sounds, is a melancholic but reassuring rhythm that inspires an interesting emotional response.  At just over two minutes, ‘Standing by the Styx gives the listener time to think, to contemplate, to reflect, which you would probably need should you come to find yourself standing by the underworld river waiting for the ferryman.

The album finishes up with a couple of more recognisably folk / Americana tracks, ‘In The Mangroves’ and ‘Between Skeletons’.  These two songs finish the musical journey that A Cardboard Sunset has taken the listener on and leaves us on an upward feel, having run through a gamut of emotions.  This is a musical experience that needs at least two or three listens to do it justice.

A Cardboard Sunset was released on January 25 on Wormhole World Records. Get your copy here.

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