Warm Ghost - Uncut Diamond - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Warm Ghost - Uncut Diamond

by James Briscoe Rating:8 Release Date:2011-02-15

Warm Ghost is made up of Paul Duncan: songwriter and singer and Oliver Chapoy: composer and all round facilitator. You could say, 'like band name, like music'. Warm Ghost is a synth pop DJ duo from New York, yet their tracks lack the cold, mechanical nature which other hip DJ partnerships, such as Crystal Castles could be accused of. It is also eerie and mysterious, sometimes even as frightening as a spectre.

The first track on the EP, 'Open the Wormhole in Your Heart' is accompanied with an 'arty', extremely revealing video (not included with the EP), which shows naked flesh writhing around on a lubricated surface. Maybe that's where the 'uncut' comes from. If I was to make a metaphor to describe the feeling at the heart of this track, I would say it's a bud in a forest, sprouting, growing a stem and leaves and growing and growing until its leaves reach the sunlight or it's waking up to a brand new day, feeling optimistic and ready to attack the rest of your life. Paul Duncan's celestial, god-like singing gives this image - a fantastic way to start a day and an EP then.

'Without a Dancer' continues with the otherworldly and upbeat feel and we are introduced to a warm, eccentric chorus of keyboarderie. It sounds like we're being invaded by little, friendly ETs who just want to contribute to the Uncut Diamond EP. Aside from the little green men, the track is extremely chilled out; the slow introductory beat mimics a slow heart beat and will comatose anyone who listens to it - you've been warned. I like the simplicity of 'Without a Dancer'; we hear the same line,"'without a dancer, my love, it wanders and crawls", repeatedly, in a morose tone and we know what the track is about immediately.

'Claws Overhead' continues the synthy sound and we're treated to more extravagant vocals. Paul Duncan, the man who writes the songs, says that he is inspired by The Cure, Depeche Mode and OMD. However, this third track has the essence of The Shins, the main similarity coming between the two enigmatic voices. It is also very 80s pop and it benefits from the uplifting torrent of the music of that care-free decade. It's almost impossible to gauge what Paul Duncan is singing in 'Claws Overhead' and I'm left wondering if the EP would benefit from the vocals being more forthright. You could say that it is the mysterious nature of the vocals that gives the song its appeal. Maybe I'm just going deaf but lowering the volume of the synths and boosting the vocal, I believe, could make this track even more kind to the ears.

Paul Duncan has a history of song writing; this isn't just some futuristic sounding chords played on a digital keyboard. In fact, the more you listen to Uncut Diamond, the more it seems that these songs are almost all about the lyrics. The synths are just there to create an atmosphere. I will allow you all to discover the three remaining tracks, 'Uncut Diamond', 'Resignation Rights' and 'Let My Angst Unfold in the Water Like a Hound's Tongue' for yourselves. I will hint that the 80s sound does continue and the tracks might become even more hypnotic.

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