Today, Ghost Light has announced the forthcoming release of their debut studio album, Best Kept Secrets, set to arrive on March 22nd. The album comes in the wake of a big first year for the new project, which features guitarists/vocalists Tom Hamilton and Raina Mullen, pianist Holly Bowling, bassist Steve Lyons, and drummer Scotty Zwang. Pre-orders for the new album are available now.
“I think of this album like a bunch of abstract paintings,” says Hamilton in a statement. “We present the songs as a series meant to be experienced in a certain order, but at the end of the day, whatever that series makes you feel is totally up to you.”
As the album’s announcement notes, Best Kept Secrets is a record that “transcends the sonic contributions and background of any single member, a collection that’s at once gritty and refined, sprawling and restrained, straightforward and psychedelic.”
Hamilton and Mullen began writing the core of the album in the spring of 2017, focusing solely on instrumental arrangements at first as they chased new sounds and experiences with a little bit of chemical assistance. “We wanted to see what would happen if we opened up some new creative doors, so we got a whole bunch of LSD,” remembers Hamilton with a laugh. “Twice a week for a few months, Raina and I would eat acid and just work in the studio all night.”
Hamilton and Mullen drew on seemingly incongruous influences (“What would it sound like if Sufjan Stevens made a Soundgarden album?”) and composed with a filmmakers’ eye, scoring the dynamic scenes in their heads with vivid detail and deep emotion. While many of the tracks would ultimately end up being fleshed out with lyrics, several tunes remained fixed as instrumentals even on the finished album.
One by one, the rest of the band’s members began to visit Hamilton and Mullen to help flesh out the early demos. “It was kind of like working with a new medium or a new palette of paints and starting to figure out how the medium works and what it can do,” explains Holly Bowling. “Our understanding of each other as musicians and what we each bring to the band was falling into place at the same time each of these songs were taking shape.”
Once the songs were finished, the band headed in to record the album, working out of a 4,000 square foot former Chrysler factory in Philadelphia. The sessions marked the first time all five members had ever been in the same room together, and they leaned into the spontaneous nature of the arrangement, setting up in a circle to record everything live. “We were chasing something perfectly imperfect,” explains Mullen. “I’ve always believed that the imperfections in any recording are what make it real.”
“You look at the classic recordings that stand the test of time, and they’re all about the band,” adds Hamilton, who produced Best Kept Secrets. “It’s that human element that makes you feel what you feel when you’re listening. There’s a vibe and a mojo you can only get from musicians being present in the moment, creating together and reacting to each other.”
On Thursday, in celebration of the coming release, Ghost Light premiered the first single, “Best Kept Secret”, on SiriusXM’s Jam_ON channel with Ari Fink. The song can now be heard in regular rotation. You can listen to the album’s first single, “Best Kept Secret”, below.
Ghost Light – “Best Kept Secret”
In the time since recording the album, Ghost Light has earned praise from music fans nationwide for their thrilling live performances. You can check out a list of the band’s upcoming tour dates below. For more information, head to the band’s website.
Ghost Light Upcoming Tour Dates
3/20 – Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
3/21 – Milwaukee, WI – Colectivo
3/22 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
3/23 – Chicago, IL – Chop Shop
3/25 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
3/27 – Frisco, CO – 10 Mile Music Hall
3/28 – Crested Butte, CO – Center for the Arts
3/29 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
3/30 – Denver, CO – Cervantes
4/2 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
4/4 – Austin, TX – Antone’s
4/5 – Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum Art Company
4/6 – Houston, TX – Last Concert Café
4/9 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
4/10 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
4/11 – Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
4/12 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
4/13 – Covington, KY – Madison Live
4/16 – Nashville, TN – Basement East
4/17 – Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall
4/18 – Charleston, SC – Pour House
4/20 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
4/27 – New Orleans, LA – Republic NOLA
5/10 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
5/24 – 5/26 – Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp Music Festival
6/6 – 6/8 – Wellston, MI – Camp Greensky Music Festival
6/27 – 6/30 – Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest Festival
7/18 – 7/21 – North Plains, OR – Northwest String Summit
7/25 – 7/28 – Scranton, PA – Peach Music Festival
Fans heading down to New Orleans during this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival can catch Ghost Light performing a late-night show on Saturday, April 27th (technically early-morning on April 28th) at Republic NOLA. The Ghost Light late-night will immediately follow Tom Hamilton‘s performance with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead at Mardi Gras World.
Tickets for Ghost Light’s New Orleans late-night during Jazz Fest are available here.
Artist: Live For Live Music & 8th Annual Nolafunk Series During Jazz Fest Present: GHOST LIGHT
Venue: Republic NOLA – 828 S Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Tickets: Early-Bird – $20 (limited quantity) / Tier 1 – $22.50 (limited quantity / Tier 2 – $25
For more information, head here.