On Friday, Ghost Light released their long-awaited debut studio album, Best Kept Secrets. The album has been in the works for the better part of two years. In their time on the road since work on the project began, Ghost Light has become one of the most exciting and in-demand live bands on the circuit.

“I think of this album like a bunch of abstract paintings,” said guitarist/vocalist Tom 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 fellow guitarist/vocalist Raina 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 pianist 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.”

You can listen to Ghost Light’s entrancing debut album in its entirety below:

Ghost Light – Best Kept Secrets – Full Album

Ghost Light’s 2019 spring tour is now underway. For a full list of upcoming dates, see below. For more information, head to the band’s website.

Ghost Light 2019 Spring Tour

Mar 20: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
Mar 21: Milwaukee, WI – Colectivo
Mar 22: St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Mar 23: Chicago, IL – Chop Shop
Mar 25: Omaha, NE – Slowdown
Mar 27: Frisco, CO – 10 Mile Music Hall
Mar 28: Crested Butte, CO – Center for the Arts
Mar 29: Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
Mar 30: Denver, CO – Cervantes
Apr 2: Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
Apr 4: Austin, TX – Antone’s
Apr 5: Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum Art Company
Apr 6: Houston, TX – Last Concert Café
Apr 9: Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
Apr 10: St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
Apr 11: Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
Apr 12: Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
Apr 13: Cincinnati, OH – Madison Live
Apr 16: Nashville, TN – Basement East
Apr 17: Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall
Apr 18: Charleston, SC – Pour House
Apr 19: Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse (SweetWater 420 Fest Late-Night)
Apr 20: Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
Apr 24: Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
Apr 25: Jackson, MS – Duling Hall
Apr 27: New Orleans, LA – Republic NOLA
May 9: Hamden, CT – Space Ballroom
May 10: Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
May 11: Portland, ME – Portland House of Music
May 15: Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
May 16: Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
May 17: Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
May 18: Washington, D.C. – The Hamilton
May 19: Corolla, NC – Mustang Music Festival

View Upcoming Tour Dates

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.

Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019 (technically early AM 4/28)
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
Time: 2:00 AM

For more information, head here.