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Paperback Ghosts, by Comet Gain

Another engaging chapter by the British indie folkies

With Comet Gain's seventh album, Paperback Ghosts, the British indie-pop band stays true to its soaring folk and soul melodies with honest, straightforward lyrics.

The album was inspired by the changes of autumn — specifically, through walks around North London woods. The band says the album is also about ghosts, the gauzy, haunting specters of past loves.

The easygoing “Long After Tonite’s Candles Are Blown” sets the tone, with vocalist David Feck praising the good things in life, but he soon segues into a realization that “heaven is a lie.” His youthful vocals are delicate and pleading but also reveal a vivid level of sadness with lines like, "My map of the universe is your haunted heart."

The melody of the homegrown and organic "Sad Love and Other Short Stories" plays with emotional heartstrings that add a touch of drama. And by “Wait ’til December,” with its soft, country touch and the frosty edge in Rachel Evans’s voice, you’re aware that time has slowed.

“The Last Love Letter” nurtures a pretty duet and harmonies, and “Behind the House She Lived In” hearkens memories of childhood and first love. The upbeat “Breaking Open the Head Part 1” shows the band’s rebellious punk side, while “(All the) Avenue Girls” channels early R.E.M.

With influences such as the Byrds, Velvet Underground, the Dexys, and French New Wave, Comet Gain deftly combines those touches with Riot Grrrl and lo-fi styles, lacing emotions throughout the album and exposing the gray areas between love and its harsh realities.

  • Record: Paperback Ghosts
  • Artist: Comet Gain
  • Label: Fortuna Pop!
  • Songs: (1) Long After Tonite's Candles Are Blown (3) Sad Love and Other Short Stories (3) Behind the House She Lived In (4) Wait ’til December (5) Breaking Open the Head Part 1 (6) The Last Love Letter (7) Sixteen Oh Four (8) (All the) Avenue Girls (9) Your Haunted Heart (10) Far From the Pavilion (11) An Orchid Stuck Inside Her Throat (12) Confessions of a Daydream

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