RELEASE DATE 22 MARCH 2019
WRITTEN BY ALAN WHITFIELD
Picking up and listening to ‘Hex’ was my introduction to the Jacksonville electro rock duo, Dancing With Ghosts and I had several first impressions.
Unlike a lot of records out there, each track struck me as something quite different from the last and initially it made the listening experience a little disjointed. After a bit of research I discovered ‘Hex’, rather than being a brand new album, was much more of a greatest hits collection. Well, actually it’s probably more of a remastering and reimagining project that combined their first two LPs with a couple of supplementary tracks.
Perhaps it would makes sense to take a step back to understand how we reached this point.
The outfit was established by Josh Cannon as a solo project in 2015 and he released the first record ‘Koyaanisqatsi‘ before being joined by Stephanie Conner two years later. Dancing with Ghosts’ second album, “The Nightmare Inside You”, was released in March of 2018 with Stephanie now heavily collaborating and providing vocals. Cannon believed ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ had outgrown it’s studio persona and wanted to bring the best of that record in line with the live performances by adding Conner’s vocals and smoothing the rough edges.
It is for that reason this new record was created.
As I said, these 14 tracks do feel slightly fragmented but given the aim was to hit the reset button and provide a new entry point into the bands journey, I’m okay with that. Any record that’s created over a period of time with multiple recording session is never going to achieve full immersive cohesion. My listening experience benefited massively from understanding the origin of this LP.
They appear to have taken on a commendable “do it yourself” approach with the band which gives them all the control they would need when it comes to timing and vision. I do wonder if working with a production overseer, someone who suited their crossover sound (Infinity Shred springs to mind), would have helped to better round the album’s mix and give it less of a Greatest Hits feel.
What we do have here is a polished mix of electronica and guitar tracks with a wealth of creative inspirations. This collection moves from cinematic soundscapes through prog-rock rock and probably settles most comfortably into electro-pop. Proficiently lyrical and melodically ample, Dancing With Ghosts achieve some noteworthy and surprising arrangements that often push aside the dark synth and heavy guitars to blossom into hook loaded harmonies.
‘Hex’ is out now on all digital music platforms and available to download on Bandcamp.
Immerse yourself in Dark Indie Pop.
Band Camp – https://dancingwithghosts2.bandcamp.com
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