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On Deck: TV Ghost

By ; September 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM 


Ever since their debut was released in 2009, Indiana’s wiry post-punks TV Ghost have been making a jagged beeline through indie rock, carving out a decidedly Pixies and X-inspired aesthetic.  And though their recent songs have lost a bit of the grit and grime of those early recordings, they’re still unspooling enough angular, jackknife riffage to cut through the densest musical fog — so what the songs have lost in sinewy rhythms, they’ve made up for in dense, moody atmospherics.  Now, don’t think that the band has completely lost their indie rock muscle – they’ve still got an unexpected serrated edge that makes an appearance throughout their latest record, Disconnect (out now on In The Red Records).  It’s simply in the purpose of something far more cohesive and complicated than just having harsh fretwork for its own sake.

With this subtle musical evolution, TV Ghost have cast off any indications that they’re simply mimicking the artists that they obviously grew up admiring. And by taking a brief look at the band’s influences, you come to realize how broad and encompassing the pool of musical resources is from which they draw inspiration for their own sound.  And it just so happens that recently we spoke with the band about a few of their favorite records.  From the distortion-laden rhythms ofLoveless by My Bloody Valentine to the post-punk churn of Wipers, the band details their own formative musical experiences – though by also making mention of records from Mazzy Star and Stereolab, the band reveals a more intricate and complex array of inspirations that you might have initially guessed.  Check out the band’s full list below in the latest installment of our On Deck series.


Wipers - Youth of America
Wipers – Youth of America

a dark epic melodrama. the spacey textures achieved through a punk rock setting are unprecedented and hard to replicate. dotting the landscape is swathing guitar feedback, atypical time signatures, backwards drums, and a steady bass that sometimes fades into piano lines. I’ve been listening to this album for a couple of years, hearing it first from brahne through phone speakers in his old trashed mazda. it was the 4 minute droning noise guitar interlude of the title track that first caught my attention. this is what got my head around what I perceived as the “melodrama” that saturated most of the album. in the end youth of america led me to realize that this is a unique voice striving to be heard in its own way on it’s own terms while using it’s accessibility/melodrama as a conduit. this mode of operation is just as honest if not more potent than an artistic “fuck you”. also, so fucking epic without being at all pretentious. a lot of tricky balances here.


Echo and the Bunnymen - Porcupine
Echo and the Bunnymen – Porcupine

If I could choose one word to describe this album I would choose “moving”. Lyrically I find it deeply poetic and very human. The sonic soundscapes and textures help paint a picture of a vast desert of self exploration. Something I did heavily this past year. When nothing makes sense around you sometimes it’s best to look inside. Porcupine helped me look inside myself and project something real. I only hope that each note I contribute can come from that place inside that seems untouchable at times. There’s something deep inside all of us where beautiful things seem to come from. I think of human consciousness as a vast desert filled with mirages and sinkholes. Somewhere in there though there’s a temple where your soul sits on a throne of truth. I have to thank echo and the bunnymen for reminding me.


Stereolab - Mars Audiac Quintet
Stereolab – Mars Audiac Quintet

I’ve probably listened to Mars Audiac at least once a week for the past year and a half. The songs are hypnotic, repetitive, and also maintain an awesome groove throughout the album. I’d say “Anamorphose” is my favorite track on this album. I love how the organ gradually falls off but blends in perfectly, kind of building up the whole song in a weird way.


Broadcast - Haha Sound
Broadcast – Haha Sound

A dear friend first turned me onto Broadcast about 4 years ago. It took some time to grow on me and I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention at the time. Haha Sound was the first Broadcast that this friend had shown me and it is something that today, I don’t know what I would have done without. At first listen it definitely had its own unique sound, and I liked it but it really grew on me over time. And it kept growing. Today, Broadcast stand as my favorite artists and all of their records are my favorite records. But this one one in particular (and maybe it has something to do with it being the first of theirs that I listened to) remains at the top. It seems to always perfectly soundtrack whatever is running through my mind. The band and record itself are both innovative with certain past-meets-future aesthetics and it is no doubt, timeless. It has led me to weeks of wonder, radiophonic waves of psychedelia and unraveling 1960s USA. Czech new wave, Lewis Carroll, and lucid dreaming run throughout. But this record in particular has recurring themes of the repetitiveness, mystery and energy in life. This record has been somewhat of a personal one for me and has helped me make sense of things not really making sense, if that makes any sense at all. Each track stands on it’s own and the whole run-thru of it is just beautiful. Every time I put it on I am locked in a trance of just sitting and listening. Broadcast and this record have both been and will forever be a great inspiration and influence on my life and work.

“Sow the seeds of everything to be. Safe in sleep, I winter in my dreams.
Speak your words. Define your grief for me. Out of reach. Some things just can not be.”


Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See

This is one of the most colorful albums I’ve heard. The deeper I look into the songs, the more and more I see from them. There’s this underlying noisey guitar throughout the entire album that you can’t quite hear at first. I always liked albums that have a pop exterior but very dark undertones.

TV Ghost’s latest album, Disconnect, is out now on In The Red Records.


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