A psychedelic fairy tale and a goth industrial/drone tune sound enormous on Frederick Experimental Act Ghost Voice’s new two-track single.
Ghost Voice, the solo project from Greencastle native Quinn Myers, released “Bow and Arrow/Grave Walk” on December 3.
Taking nods from Animal Collective and Aphex Twin, Myers is able to create something that is hallucinatory and beautiful, but also menacing and unsettling.
Bow and Arrow tackles subject matter reminiscent of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, but through the lens of a Timothy Leary-obsessed DJ.
“Toad is walking through the woods quivering beneath his hood/Tasked with moving, shiny things per request of the king,” coos Myers, as notes are being played instrumentally with timbres that could be from a synth, an affected piano or distorted guitar – it’s hard to pinpoint the source of the sound.
Myers’ sense of melody and arrangement glimmers and gleams, and as the track ends, a violin line emerges that would put Tom Waits’ “Fawn” to shame.
Although, Bow and Arrow is excellent on its own, the standout track here is “Grave Walk”.
Clocking in at just over eight minutes long, the track is disorienting and exciting enough to fool the listener into thinking it’s at two and half or three. It begins with a droning string riff, and just when you start to feel yourself experiencing some anxiety – the beat kicks in – and the listener is lost in the groove.
Myers sings through pitch-shifted and heavily affected vocals – saying that he’s “going on a grave walk/nothing wrong with a little grave walk” and repeats the phrase to a point where a listener with a lesser stomach might feel frightened.
Halfway through the track, the drums start to become increasingly unhinged, and eventually disappear, being replaced with a ticking clock as the percussion, and eventually being the last sound you hear before the track ends. Grave Walk is an unnerving, but ultimately rewarding and satisfying listen.
Myers is making some of the most fearless and experimental music the Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland Music Scene has to offer, and fans along with newcomers to his music should be excited with each new release – there’s not much else that comes close in terms of a fresh, challenging sound.
Q: Both tracks seem to have a yin and yang tendency as far as style and mood. Was that intentional, and why did you pair these two songs together?
Quinn Myers: Well, the initial idea was just to release “Bow And Arrow” by itself. That song was recorded much more recently and just felt good to me once it was finished. But I like releasing songs in groups, even if it’s only two. So I added “Grave Walk,” which I had recorded last year. To me both songs take place in the same environment, sort of a dark and misty woods.
Q: Grave Walk seems like a shift stylistically for you compared to previous releases – what inspired you to go in this direction?
QM: As I said, Grave Walk was something I’ve had sitting around for a year or so. For a while I wasn’t sure if I would ever put it out. It started as more of an experiment, just building off a long delay feedback loop which I felt had a great mood. And then the vocals were more of a last-minute addition for this release.
Q: Some of the instrumentation you use is so unique, that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the instrument is. Can you reveal your secrets?
QM: I like to keep a little bit of mystery around sounds in my music that may seem odd or hard to identify. I will say that I’ve found I really like the sound of violins with lowered pitch.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
QM:Way too many to really give them all their due. But I’ve been thinking lately that Joanna Newsom might be my biggest hero in terms of songwriting. Animal Collective have been super important to me since high school. Kate Bush, Captain Beefheart, This Heat, those are a few other big ones. But yeah, too many to really say.
Q: Who are some local acts you admire?
QM: Flooded is a band that I’m always blown away by every time I see them perform. Evvy Shark makes really amazing pop music. And I recently found out about a new band called Kitewave who I’ve been very impressed by.
Q: You’ve played shows in Franklin County, how is the local music scene and how are playing shows here?
QM: It’s hard to say now, I haven’t participated much in the music scene ever since the pandemic hit, sad to say. But DIY shows have always been a big part of my musical development, and I know that there will always be kind and generous people in this area who take it upon themselves to make live music happen however they can.
Ethan Larsh is a local songwriter, musician and journalist who has played his original music across the country. His work has been featured in “Glide Magazine, Tinnitist” and numerous other publications. If you are a musician and would like him to feature your work in Local.News’ Music Monday, contact him at [email protected]