It is a peculiar world we live in. Especially in times of musical ubiquity an album demands aspiration and courage. The past few years’ slogan “Everybody can make an album” slowly changes back into a longplayer actually being something special, not everybody manages to achieve.
One might call it risky, to try and win over the listener for 43 full minutes, trying to escape quick fingers and skip-buttons. Farewell Dear Ghost are taking that risk, and go out on a limb both musically and lyrically, not being afraid to ask important questions. In 2017 their Indie-Background takes a small step back to let a glittery pop attitude shine through. Although it is a fine line to dance on, Farewell Dear Ghost have managed to do just that over the past few years.
Ever since their debut “We Colour The Night” was released in 2013 a lot has happened. “Neon Nature” is a step forward for the four-piece. Both “Fire” (2013) and “We Were Wild Once” (of the EP “Skin”, released in 2016) went on to conquer the number 1 spot on the prestigious radio FM4-Charts, were on heavy rotation in Europe and lead to heavy touring activities with artists like Nada Surf, The Naked and Famous or the Jezabels all over the continent. They also travelled to China (where they’ll return in the fall), Istanbul or Tel Aviv, played showcase festivals like the famous Eurosonic in Groningen, and are going to play both Reeperbahn Festival and Zandari Festa in South Korea this fall.
A crucial point in the band’s history was their tour through China, which resulted in the production of the EP “Skin”. Ever since then they have reinvented themselves, again combining four completely different characters and influences into “Neon Nature”, which gives the album the feel of being a debut after all.
The title’s ambivalence shows opposites, apparent realities the real life on the other side of the spectrum. Singer and songwriter Philipp Szalay describes on an emotional meta-level of the outsider an absurdity of his generation: excessive self-confidence close to obsession under the guise of perfect presentation – Szalay’s neon. He zooms into this world, asking questions: “Why can’t we let go? Do I really have to be the king of whatever to justify my existence?“
He finds his answers in quotes out of a Beatles documentary (“Friar Park”), in blurred memories after a night of drinking (“Moonglass”) and in his inner conflict between the big city’s neon lights, big productions, an outside view and the search for genuine sincerity. Great Pop melodies and enthusiastic destruction (“Prince of Saigon“, “Kimono Blazer Vibe“) go hand in hand, adding in a truly magical duet with the Austrian singer Avec (“Tease”).
The question whether the neon foreground shows an actual new reality or just covers it up like a thick layer of make-up stays unanswered.
(Press text published Sep. '17)