Close your eyes and imagine hearing the voice of a glamorous lounge singer circa 1940 with sultry vocals created to melt your heart. Kacey Johansing’s sophomore LP Grand Ghosts, blends the classic beauty of yesteryear with a touch of sullen tone and modern experimental music.
Her warm and rich vocals have an old-timey feel that’s a bit similar to She & Him—however—Johansing is much more powerful in vocal strength and emotion, giving her listeners a beautiful aural experience. Her angelic choir-like sensibilities sound like the score of an old Hollywood Technicolor picture, with soaring vocals that just lull you to comfort. Her tone is consistent and classic from opening track “River” to album closer “Out to Sea.” Despite the obvious fact that the word ‘sing’ is in her last name, it’s also empowering when an artist releases work that is reflective of the style of music they want to do and not what is popular. Collaborating with heavy-hitting indie acts such as Geographer and Tune-Yards, this San Francisco artist is surrounded by the indie scene—yet self-releases an album with a different direction. We like that sort of ballsy move, especially when it sounds as beautiful and genuine as Grand Ghosts.
Three words to describe Grand Ghosts: Smooth—Ethereal—Vibraphone
This album would go well with: sweet lounging and lovemaking in a grassy meadow under the moonlight. This album was made for affection.
Sounds like: Dandelion seeds each representing jazz, indie-pop, and elements of contemporary classical drifting through the air on a calm wind. Those seeds then land on a song bird from old Hollywood waiting for her next part in an RKO picture all set to a variety of musical backdrops ranging from experimental melodic pop, to piano heavy melodies.
Favorite songs: “Pinecone” really shows off those lilting vocals making one word sound like three. “Grand Ghosts” is haunting like the sound of spirits singing together in a fading memory. Listen to both tracks below.
Tour Dates: Kacey will be touring the US in Spring 2013, in support of the new album. Stay tuned for details.
Words by: Roxanne Hilburn