Album Review: Holy Ghost!, Dynamics

Holy Ghost! are a duo from New York, comprised of Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser, who create funky, synth-heavy dance music. Dynamics is the follow up album to their self-titled debut released in 2011.This record is a slight departure from their original sound, seemingly drawing more inspiration from disco and pop, with an overall bright and mellow sound. Their debut album, in comparison, is definitely darker and slightly more frantic.The track list begins with two of the album’s catchiest and most upbeat songs—“Dumb Disco Ideas” and “Okay”, the band’s first single release off the album. However, these two songs don’t particularly set the scene of what the rest of the album entails. In fact, much of it is filled with slower jams, with more focus on vocals than hard beats. An example is sing-along worthy song “Changing Of The Guard”. Tracks such as “It Must Be The Weather” and “In The Red” also reveal Holy Ghost!‘s talent at creating chiller synth melodies.The boys create a super atmospheric mood with their production of interlude track “1 For Edgar”, which smoothly transitions the first half of the album into the second in just over a minute.At first listen, this collection could easily be filed under the general term of “synth-pop”, but in actuality, many of the songs differ quite a bit. “Don’t Look Down” is a highlight, meshing heartfelt lyrics and a nu-disco undercurrent that you could almost mistake for being cheesy 80s disco. In stark contrast, you can hear hip-hop influenced drumbeats and vocals in “Bridge And Tunnel”—not surprising given the duo used to perform in hip-hop group Automato.What’s interesting about Holy Ghost! is that Frankel does all the vocals on all their tracks, which is unusual in the electronic-dance music world. Frankel isn’t a professionally trained vocal artist either; you can occasionally hear the rawness in the band’s music. Regardless, Dynamics is fantastic for the listener, giving them a variety of music, from carefree dance beats to more emotional lyric-driven songs, to listen to.by Jane Liang

October 30th 2013
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