In terms of output, Holiday Ghosts has quietly developed behind the scenes in recent times. A project of Sam Stacpoole of The Black Tambourines, a beautifully-hazy self-titled EP was released a couple years ago on Soundcloud, with various local shows around Falmouth town since then taking place with different members joining Stacpoole live. Now assisted by Kat Rackin on drums and Charlie Murphy of The Red Cords on guitar, the trio took to The Troubadour for a session with the increasingly proliferate independent Wavey Head (Jack Wolter of Cubzoa’s label) to debut three tracks from their upcoming first full-length.
Continuing with their scratchy lo-fi pop aesthetic, Holiday Ghosts is a more loose affair than Stacpoole’s work with The Black Tambourines, yet loses none of their enthusiasm for blending different components into a novel sounding and instantly infectious jam. ‘Paranoia‘ takes the tams scratchy, instantaneous chord progressions and injects with erratic, David Byrne-esque vocal verses and 50s Rock’n’Roll hooks, Murphy’s added harmonies on each chorus makes for an immediate need to twist instead of shout with the most compelling track we’ve heard from the group.
‘The Truman Show‘ acquires a more curious tone, ghostly guitar lines accompany Rackin’s timid, almost Nico-like vocal, half spoken wistfully and half delivered with gritty determination. “Don’t make me sit, it’s a waste of time, sat at home, shedding hate from my bones” is enunciated with an almost blasé tone without doubt on purpose, a clever turn which isn’t just used in sonic creativity.
The trio finish with ‘Holding On‘, slowing the tempo further but retaining that eerie quality within the valves. Murphy takes on the vocal, providing his trademark drawl with added bite that recalls that element of wit from within their lyricism. Additional flutters of clean Bluesy refrains from Stacpoole’s guitar are a flawless inclusion, fluidly running back into the joint harmonies that the duo partake in for the chorus, “I don’t think it’s coming back” repeated with effect as the end arrives to an absorbing set.
Quite evolved from it’s early, very lo-fi beginnings, Holiday Ghosts seems to have opened broadly, the addition of Rackin and Murphy an effective plus to an already interesting idea from Sam Stacpoole, who’s already known-creative nous is evident immediately in the song-writing on show.
Listen to the session below:
The Holiday Ghosts are set to play Wax Music’s First Birthday All-Dayer at Beerwolf Books in Falmouth, on the 4th December. Tickets are £4 and also playing are The Black Tambourines, The Red Cords, Lost Dawn, The Golden Dregs, Cubzoa and more. For more details, click here.