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Video of the Moment #2468: Ghostpoet

 
By on Tuesday, 7th November 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Back in the summer, Ghostpoet released his fourth album. Never shy to step into the political fray, ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ was previewed by the refugee-themed single ‘Immigrant Boogie’. His latest music video, this time for ‘Woe is Meee’, is less about what’s been repeatedly splashed across the broadsheets as of late and more on something far more personal.

The twice Mercury Prize-nominated Obaro Ejimiwe explains the new promo’s premise: “Depicting the darker, emotional response I had to the track led me to build a world around an atypical senior citizen (played by John O’Brien) who at 70, finding himself in a society openly discussing gender neutrality, chooses to address his deepest most insular struggles around sexuality and persona.” Sometimes the biggest battles are those within. Food for thought. Watch the new video below. ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ is now available from PIAS. For much more here on TGTF on Ghostpoet, use this link.

 

Album Review: Ghostpoet – Dark Days + Canapés

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd October 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Ghostpoet Dark Days album coverGhostpoet, real name Obaro Ejimiwe, is the London-born, twice Mercury Prize-nominated poet and musician. His debut album released in 2011, titled ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’ earned favourable reception and showcased Ejimiwe’s unique blend of electronic Sprechgesang. Since then, he’s released three more studio albums, his latest ‘Dark Days + Canapés’ out now on Play It Again Sam. On the new record, Ejimiwe touches upon a wide range of subjects and ideas from relationships and dating, to social media and the media, and how we frame our connections to others in a modern world. He also moves into a moodier and more subdued musical territory than the album that came before it, ‘Shedding Skin’.

‘Immigrant Boogie’, the first single released from the album, sets the precedence for an album that comments and critiques society, this single digging into the refugee crisis and the emotions surrounding migration. Opening with a jarring guitar note and repetitive drum and synth rhythm, there’s a spookiness to the track, emphasised in the echoing of the music and Ejimiwe’s voice. Ejimiwe positions himself as a refugee, highlighting the struggle that people go through when attempting to find better lives for themselves in a country other than their own: “I was dreaming of a better life / with my two kids and my loving wife / but I can’t swim, the water’s in my lungs / so here if ends when life has just begun”. This track is especially evocative when considering the events of the last few years and the terrible images that have shared as a result of the refugee crisis. The track will no doubt leave some listeners feeling a little uncomfortable and hyper aware of their own privileged in contrast to their heart-breaking plight of many people who are forced to leave their homes every day. .

Then, on ‘Freakshow’, Ejimiwe talks about modern dating. “so I swipe left and figure it out / it’s a freakshow” is a clear reference to Tinder and the bizarre circus of social media dating. On the track, Ejimiwe’s deep and drawling tone matches well with the steady pulse of the backing track and distant-sounding hum of electric guitar that runs over the track. Social media commentary is echoed again on ‘Dopamine If I Do’, specifically with the lyric “shaky on your toes / Instagram your foes”, again hitting out at the bizarre ways that we interact now that our lives are played out on our smartphones.

With a hypnotic electronic opening rhythm, on ‘Live>Leave’ Ejimiwe says, “I’m afraid of the future / I’ve forgiven the past”, again touching at the fear of an uncertain future that is repeated in the media every day. He goes on to say ‘I’m not dumb, I read papers’ and ‘people sold down the river / could be me could be you’, talking about the way in which various groups of people are marginalized not only in society but also targeted with negative stereotypes in the media.

Overall, the album is a melancholy and dark summation of the times that we are in. Scathing recounts of the treatment of our fellow man are placed side by side with criticisms and observations on contemporary life. The title of the album itself speaks of this problematic dichotomy, that darker days exist alongside canapés, a symbol of good fortune and celebratory times. Like much of Ghostpoet’s catalogue, the title and this album are an eloquent way of highlighting the dual aspects of first-world society, with the unfortunate and the privileged existing simultaneously. It’s the type of album that sticks with you long after you’ve listened to it, and tugs at your heartstrings whilst you are listening, by pointing out very relevant and very human issues. On the album, Ejimiwe captures something of the time that we live in, and manages to put into song both the mundane and life-changing issues people face in the modern world.

8/10

Editor Mary Chang contributed to this review. ‘Dark Days + Canapés’, the fourth album from the cerebral Ghostpoet, is out now on PIAS. Catch him on tour starting in late October when he plays shows in the UK and Ireland. For more on Ghostpoet here on TGTF, follow this link.

 

Ghostpoet / October and November 2017 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Friday, 18th August 2017 at 9:00 am
 

London electro musician/vocalist Ghostpoet has announced a long run of tour dates in Ireland and the UK for this autumn, to follow the release of his fourth studio album ‘Dark Days + Canapes’. ICYMI, we’ve already featured two singles from the forthcoming LP, ‘Immigrant Boogie’ back in May and more recently, ‘Freakshow’. You can stream the latest release from the album, a somber and introspective track called ‘Dopamine If I Do’, just below the tour date listing.

Tickets for the following shows are available now. ‘Dark Days + Canapes’ is out today on PIAS. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Ghostpoet is right back here.

Tuesday 24th October 2017 – Dublin Button Factory
Wednesday 25th October 2017 – Liverpool Invisible Wind Factory
Thursday 26th October 2017 – Newcastle Riverside
Saturday 28th October 2017 – Glasgow Stereo
Sunday 29th October 2017 – Sheffield Plug
Monday 30th October 2017 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 31st October 2017 – Birmingham Mama Roux’s
Thursday 2nd November 2017 – Cambridge Junction 1
Friday 3rd November 2017 – Oxford Academy 2
Saturday 4th November 2017 – Dover Booking Hall
Monday 6th November 2017 – Leicester Academy 3
Tuesday 7th November 2017 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Wednesday 8th November 2017 – Brighton Concorde 2
Friday 10th November 2017 – London Printworks
Saturday 11th November 2017 – Manchester Academy 2
Sunday 12th November 2017 – Norwich Arts Centre
Monday 13th November 2017 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Tuesday 14th November 2017 – Bristol Marble Factory

 

Video of the Moment #2396: Ghostpoet

 
By on Friday, 7th July 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Certainly winning the best album name stakes for 2017, Ghostpoet will be releasing ‘Dark Days and Canapes’ next month. The LP, Obaro Ejimiwe’s fourth, has already been previewed with lead single ‘Immigrant Boogie’. You can read my review of the song through here. And here comes another taster.

The promo for ‘Freakshow’ portrays a nightmarish dystopian future where there is no oxygen and the world outside is dangerous. Considering that America has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement and with China already suffering from rampant pollution, what is shown in this video probably isn’t too far off. Watch the video for ‘Freakshow’ below. ‘Dark Days and Canapes’ will be released on the 18th of August on PIAS. Read back through all of TGTF’s coverage on the twice Mercury Prize-nominated artist through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzF00zaK56I[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2365: Ghostpoet

 
By on Friday, 19th May 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Last month, Ghostpoet returned with a politically charged single, ‘Immigrant Boogie’. Written from the perspective a desperate refugee father, it provided a way for the listener to begin to contemplate life as someone who has fleed their homeland in search of security and a better life for him and his family, and therefore help us to empathise. You can read my thoughts on the single here. The song now has its own promo video, putting the story Obaro Ejimiwe has written with equally powerful visuals, showing the poignant futility of running away from problems in one place to those in another. The single is out now on PIAS; his next album is expected soon. To read all of TGTF’s past coverage on Ghostpoet, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjZTIootFOU[/youtube]

 

In the Post #158: Ghostpoet returns with politically-charged single ‘Immigrant Boogie’

 
By on Monday, 24th April 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

In just 6 weeks, the next UK general election will take place and in the footsteps of Brexit last summer, the outcome of the vote will no doubt have unprecedented consequences on the country and the rest of the world. The return of Obaro Ejimiwe, better known under his stage name Ghostpoet, and his own unique viewpoint is fortuitous, and not a moment too soon. Late last week, he unveiled a stream of ‘Immigrant Boogie’, his first new material since 2015’s Mercury Prize-nominated ‘Shedding Skin’. Here’s Ejimiwe’s own description of the song:

It’s a first person account of a difficult journey across borders, partly intended to ask those who have questioned the arrival of refugees in recent times what they would do in the same situation. The song is written in two halves – the first hopeful for a brighter future, while the second sees hope snatched away by forces beyond the control of the storyteller. There is an important story to be told there, but I wrote the song in a way that aims to capture a broader human truth: that while we are all working for a better life for ourselves, we have to accept that we are not in control of the outcome.

There’s no escaping the haunting notes of the lead guitar line, or the distorted synths lending a feeling a disorientations. The overall musical effect is a sinister one, meant to mirror the desperate mindset of fleeing refugees. Ejimiwe intones, “I was dreaming of a better life / with two kids and my loving wife / I can’t swim, the water’s in my lungs / and there it ends, a life that’s just begun”, in a vocal style more like Gil Scott Heron’s spoken word than that of a traditional singer/songwriter.

As the song progresses, the sense of desperation increases, a repeated note sounding like an oncoming locomotive as the song heads for a cacophonous end. The single is also notable for its vocal guest star Charlie Steen, lead singer of South London punks and SXSW 2017 alums Shame. As the first taster of what we’re told have been Ghostpoet’s recording sessions over the last few months in London Town, the potential for his next album to be politically cutting seem quite bright.

7.5/10

New single from Ghostpoet ‘Immigrant Boogie’ is out now on PIAS. To read all of our past writing on Ghostpoet here on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7OkcTaMBrY[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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