Exclusive Premiere: the experimental euphoria of “Ghosty”
With a distinctly fast-paced rhythm on the bass drum, amidst collisions with a strain of 80s-electronic hits, we are blasted into the beginning of “Ghosty.” Then, in a burst of glittering indie-pop, a chorus of synth notes fall on top of the instrumental line, signaling the start of something new entirely. It’s this melody that feels fantastical and otherworldly, an intro for a Studio Ghibli film. Then, the strum of an acoustic guitar swoops in to replace it and Arvid begins to sing, bringing the musical line back to the sweet parts of Earth. The guitar plucks out honeyed, major chords from the air as Arvid sings of melancholy things: only a few things going right, trying to make people smile, and hoping to go places just one more time.
Then, as quickly as it left, the ethereal indie-pop synth is back, this time with a dark bassline underneath. It’s a sea of emotion, as complex as the human resolve behind it (“Ghosty” is about the death of a loved one.) The contrast between the layeredness of the dream-like chorus and the quick-moving guitar-led verses give a sense that Arvid is stuck between reality and the happiness of a past that can no longer be. And as he tells himself “it’s not for nothing,” the synth stalls out and the world grows quieter and reflective, trying to move past something but dwelling for a moment before. The smaller court of sashaying instrumentals that follow are repetitive and comforting, a safe kind of dream, as the sound of synth bubbles up into the silence at the end of the track.
“Ghosty” is a riveting tale of loss and revival and is the lead single off of Arvid’s third album Pyreburning, which was released today. The New-York based artist, AKA Luke Ross, spent two years working on this album; writing, recording, playing every instrument, and mastering it all himself. Arvid’s been making this “psychedelia-tinged lo-fi pop” since 2013, releasing his first experimental album Old Factory Living in 2014 after recording it on a four-tape cassette deck in his attic. His 2018 album goodnightdaydream. became the #1 best-selling indie album across the Bandcamp platform during the first week of its release.
He’s inspired by the production stylings of Brian Wilson, as well as Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, and Robert Wyatt for this new album’s sound. This new album expands on those sounds he’s crafted in the past while adding its own unique tone, darker than the sounds of the past. As Arvid put it: “[it’s] an introspective meditation that deftly weaves between themes of isolation, paranoia, trauma, and death.” With the contrast between nightmares and dreams and etherealism to noise, the album is all-encompassing. Listen to “Ghosty” off his new album Pyreburning and more of his discography below.