ALBUM REVIEW: “Innocent Ghosts ” by Geographer
With their fine debut album Innocent Ghosts, Geographer’s talent appears to be the employment of a tight, catchy musical phrase that is toyed with until it carries the song into a truly rockin’ high. A number of tracks begin with the subtle tinkling of a few piano notes, some synthy blips, or cello whines, and with the vocals slyly dripping in, the song gains speed just as it reaches its second verse, at which point it’s time to wag your head along. The running momentum that the band reaches at its climactic points is reminiscent of the Arcade Fire, as the parts come together to deliver a cathartic payoff.
Lovely vocal talents dominate the album, as singer Michael Deni explores themes of love and loss with his soupy, trustworthy coo. Softly delivered and yet with a strong conviction, he seems empowered by the lessons and experiences the lyrics suggest, so that he quickly becomes a trustworthy narrator. Tracks that include the gorgeous, hint-of-rasp voice of former band member Kacey Johansing are standout, as the harmonies explored when the two combine their abilities are quite catchy. On other songs, Geographer can sound like a less dense version of The Hidden Cameras with their shared use of driving piano lines, sheepish guitar, and the vocal similarities. Excellent cello playing lends an element of sentimentality to the songs. Despite moments of muddiness, Innocent Ghosts shows promise.