The State Broadcasters: Ghosts We Must Carry – album review

The State Broadcasters- Ghosts We Must Carry (Olive Grove Records)
Out: 17th Sept 2012

With a sound akin to finding oneself in an open-fire-lit bothy sipping a peaty malt whisky, Glasgow’s State Broadcasters quietly unleash their second album.
Joe Whyte’s been listening to the album & reviews it below.

Ghosts We Must Carry has an archaic, satin-esque quality to its sepia-coloured tones. The State Broadcasters sound as if they’d be more at home in a slower, simpler world than the 21st Century, a world where the pace is slower and one is given time to reflect.

Cello, acoustic guitar, accordion, piano and harp are the main instruments that embellish the gossamer vocals of Graeme Black and Gillian Fleetwood. Describing this as folk music would do it a disservice. The songs sound more like some olde-worlde soundtrack to a monochromatic movie.

Given the fit, it’s not surprising that much of their previous album, The Ship And The Iceberg, was used in several Scottish independent movies, notably multi-award winning short Finding Luka.

The State Broadcasters: Ghosts We Must Carry – album review

New single Kittiwake (see below) is a sea shanty-paced, elegant piece of songwriting. Lyrics that namecheck sea birds are rare, but this one also hints at the power of the waves and the freedom of the skies.

Album opener The Only Way Home pays tribute to recent departees Mark Linkous and Vic Chestnutt and has a multi-layered, elegiac swagger.

Trespassers retains the dreamy, almost psychedelic charm and again sees instruments drop in and out almost randomly,creating an atmosphere rather than a song.

If you’re a fan of King Creosote, Bon Iver and the slightly off kilter, try these for size.

The State Broadcasters website is here. They are also on Facebook & Twitter.

All words by Joe Whyte. You can read more from Joe on LTW here.

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Joe Whyte is guitarist with punk rockin' Johnny Cash tribute Jericho Hill and reformed 70's punks Reaction. He has formerly played with End Result, Reverend Snakehips Country Messiahs, God-Fearing Atheists and many, many other failed attempts at rock notoriety. Joe also writes for Vive Le Rock and Louder Than War magazine. He lives in Glasgow and in his other less glamorous life works in mental health.


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