Nicolas Fromageau who started M83 with Anthony Gonzalez, and was a major presence on the first two M83 albums, departed the group and later founded Team Ghost in 2009 in Paris. Their first two teaser EPs garnered them the attention of Crystal Castles, whom they toured with in the UK, but only now has the group really come into their own, releasing their first full length, professional in-studio album Rituals via Wsphere. Produced by French producer, Benoit de Villeneuve, Rituals is set for a U.S. release on April 16. The album boasts a milieu of synthesized textures and soundscapes but the structure is all pop and punch. The shoegaze/coldwave influence stands strong, but the flow is slick and electronic. Lyrically, it is somewhat vague, but it still manages to evoke a keen sense of feelings and moods touching upon everything from doom and darkness, haze and hallucination — to love and light. It’s the kind of album where you may find yourself easing into it, turning your brain off and letting the music just soak right in.
Three Words to Describe Rituals: Sexy – Emotional – Riveting
This Album Would Go Well With: A seance. Solo travels. The Joy Division Pandora station.
Favorite Tracks: “Away” – This opening track is a full on electronic rock assault of cinematic proportions, and it will rattle your bones and blow your mind. Immediately, I’m all for Team Ghost — not Team Edward, not Team Jacob or any of that shit. Just Team Ghost.
“Somebody’s Watching” – “Somebody’s watching, it turns me on … ” Pervy? An invitation for voyeurism? Maybe, maybe not. Something vaguely seedy, yet satisfying is revealing itself in this track and either way its vigorous guitars and choir-like vocal breakdown give me all the musical reasoning I need to bite into this tempting, forbidden fruit gem.
“Blood” – Slow and wistful, electronic strings pair lovely with a simple but heavy, resonating piano progression. Then the song goes from zero-to-60 with a swift, unexpected barrage of drums, absolutely tearing through every shred of my ear canal. It has an instrumental power that can evoke great emotion similar to that of Explosions In The Sky. I may be doing myself some practical damage by blasting this one but with such an epic headbanger, it feels well worth it. This is the moment that makes me think, damn I’d really like to see this band live.
Team Ghost is currently on tour in Europe, so stay tuned to their Website for any upcoming U.S. Tour dates!
Album Review: Emily Saex