On An On: “Ghosts”
New Music Monday returns to its regularly scheduled day this week, after a sojourn to Tuesday last time around, and just in the nick of time! Because, well, today is in fact Monday…
And this week’s new music is indeed very new — the album isn’t actually due for release until tomorrow, Jan. 29. It’s the debut LP (if you’ll grant me a little poetic leeway here) from a band called On An On (and yes, that’s “An,” not “And”). The group hails from Chicago and is made up of three former members of the now-defunct indie-folk-ish band Scattered Trees. And if their debut album, Give In, is any indication, On An On will definitely be a band to watch. I hear touches of Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, a bit of Coldplay (the better parts, thankfully, since Coldplay has turned pretty tedious in recent years), and some parts that are reminiscent of the soundscape of Washed Out. But On An On don’t sound indebted to any of those bands, forging a unique sound that leaves them plenty of room for growth.
It speaks to the overall success of the album that there were a number of songs on the advance copy of Give In that I heard that were in contention to be featured here in today’s post. On An On show no sign of being a one-trick pony. The song that really first captured my fancy, in any case, is still my favorite at this point: the album’s lead-off track, “Ghosts.” It starts slowly — come to think of it, it stays slow too — building in intensity to a big, reverb-y, epic sound, yet it features a very personal set of lyrics:
There are spirits coming to find me
They’re not stopping until it’s done
I can feel them taking me over
“Ghosts” primarily features good ol’ analog instrumentation, but works in tasteful electronic textures — helped out by the production of Dave Newfeld — that expand the song’s palette quite nicely. And if you enjoy this track, I encourage you to check out the album in full, as I suspect you’ll quickly grow attached to the rest of it.
You can listen to the album in its entirety right now, prior to its official release, at On An On’s website, http://itsonanon.com.