Much like how the owl soars undetected, veiled by night’s grasp, so too does San Diego electro, indie-rock band Ghostbird sit in the clutches of obscurity.
Given a proper retool, maybe some added ambient sounds or varied vocal pitches from singer Trent Hancock, their self-titled EP has the potential to make them a breakout, indie success, if only they could figure out which group of hipsters and indie fans they want to target.
“The way that I write is that I come up with the musical ideas first and then I write the lyrics to fit the mood of the song,” said Hancock.
For what it’s worth, Hancock belts out some of the greatest high notes I’ve heard a male singer hit and drummer Mike Cooper of Transfer, a band recently nominated for the San Diego Music Awards, brings an energy that blends well with Ghostbird’s overall rock-tronic, pop sound.
“The electronic elements of the Postal Service had a big part in putting the electronic elements into my music,” said Hancock of his melodic influences.
Hancock also attributed Ghostbird’s sound to bands like Transfer and, at the risk of sounding cliché, The Beatles, he said. When performing live, “we get our friends to hop on board to hold down the bass and guitar,” which isn’t typical of most live electronic music performances.
But with Ghostbird it’s rock first, electronica second.
The hooks or choruses aren’t very catchy on “Toy Soldier” or ”Caroline,” and these are the tracks that seem to be carrying the EP.
Of the two, “Caroline” would have the most radio potential, if it had a stronger chorus.
This duo blends electronic sounds reminiscent of bands like The Postal Service and Digitalism.
I wouldn’t say this album is pouty or even whiney, but it contently sees the world as a half-empty cup.
It’s almost as if singer Hancock seems fine with this bout of mediocrity, singing in “Caroline,” “everything’s a beautiful mess, but that’s alright with me.”
That isn’t to say a song like “Sing” doesn’t make the album sound sincere, “There’s beauty to be found in things that never will be,” let’s just hope that thing doesn’t turn out to be Ghostbird.
Overall I’d say that the Ghostbird EP became slightly more enjoyable after several listens, but I don’t think any of these tracks will make it into my personal playlist.
Maybe I’m wrong, have a listen for yourself at ghostbirdmusic.com/music. You can also find Ghostbird’s new EP on iTunes.