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Ghostkeeper — Multidimensional Culture
(Bandcamp Victory Pool, 2022, LP / MC / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-07-31

Multidimensional Culture Cover art

The core of the band Ghostkeeper is the duo of Shane Ghostkeeper (vocals, guitar) and Sarah Houle (drums, vocals), who hail from the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement in northern Alberta. While their First Nations heritage informs the band’s music, they avoid any obvious trappings of traditional sounds, favoring instead a creative amalgam of modern indie rock, classic folk-rock, and artistic eccentricity that results in a very distinctive style. Eric Hamelin and Ryan Bourne round out the lineup, though instruments are not credited individually. The opening song, “Doo Wop,” might bring to mind The Band without Bob Dylan, but then they hit us with “Finn,” which takes some of the better innovations of recent years and applies them to a tune with a really odd, but oddly funky, riff. Touches of old-time rock and roll blend with outstanding background vocals and a chord progression that seems unwilling to adhere to a single key. Shane Ghostkeeper has a great voice with a dusky tone that works as well in the higher register as it does on the semi-spoken parts, and Houle, who takes the lead occasionally, has a pleasantly contrasting tone, more pure and direct. “Grassy Plains” is one of Houle’s tracks, and her melodic voice is backed by a rocking riff that’s obscured by all manner of chaos going on in the background, though the track manages to not be overwhelmed by the noise. “Summer Child” has touches of acid folk and nice string arrangements, as does “Ancestral,” which features very trippy backing vocals. Down-home slide guitar figures prominently on “The Trees,” and “Ghost on a Rope” brings to mind the great band Game Theory for some reason. There are no weak tracks, and each song has a distinct identity without sounding out of place. Multidimensional Culture is a collection of multidimensional music, ranging far and wide stylistically but maintaining a strong artistic vision.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Ghostkeeper

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