Ghost Shirt (who like the Arcade Fire also happen to be a co-ed proposition) miraculously meet my criteria, as it were, for equivalent quotients of both of those ever so tricky but all too crucial facets - much in the way a mid-size sedan (say a Camry or a Malibu) comfortably accommodates a family of four. Um, sure. If only a truly substantive indie rock could be likened to sedan, but for those of you who have made it this far into my synopsis, I think you get my drift. In a nutshell, had the Arcades taken a more modest tact, they just might be on the same wavelength as Ghost Shirt.
Robust, but unencumbered, opulent, yet economical, Ghost Shirt’s Domestique doesn’t merely strike the proper “balance,” it downright charms, woos, and dazzles anyone within earshot who possesses an affection for bright, lucid guitar pop tethered to briskly pulsating tempos. Operating as a quartet without extraneous accompaniment, pretentious overtones and baroque eccentricities aren’t even a consideration here. Samantha Kim’s sweeping violin fills, featured prominently on several tracks, embellish the arrangements without overpowering them. In fact, the strings are merely a winsome backdrop, as are the swarming synths that occupy “Sleep,” a number which rings reminiscent of Julian Casablanca’s recent solo dabbling. Ghost Shirt’s most intoxicating and buoyant selections play out during the first half of Domestique, with the overall tenor of the album easing into a comparatively serene home stretch. Though not consistently fervent, Domestique is consistently palatable. There’s plenty more where this came from, with G/S releasing a “single” per week online for an entire year. At last count they were up to 26.
Domestique is available from Insound, Amazon, and more digital retailers than you can shake a stick at.