Crooked Ghost 4 - photo by Rome Widenhouse
Crooked Ghost 4 – photo by Rome Widenhouse

Asheville, NC-based melancholic post-punks Crooked Ghost present their new single ‘Black Rainbow’ complete with a clever hearty video – literally, frontman Ray Lark seems to be confined to a heart chamber as his own heart gets poked and prodded.

“Black Rainbow is a bittersweet song about mental illness and suicide. It sounds bright, but if you look a little closer, the darkness peers through. It’s a song that means a lot to me personally, and I hope it can shine a little bit of light on a dark and taboo subject that really isn’t discussed enough. The video has a ‘dark Ray’ who is skewering ‘light Ray’ who is trapped inside his own heart, desperately trying to communicate with the band through electronic devices. I’m really happy with how this video turned out, Rome and everyone involved did a beautiful job,” says Ray Lark

Rome Widenhouse, who filmed and directed this video, elaborates: “The video for Black Rainbow explores the relationship of spiritual and material aspects of the self. Often indulgence in impulsive vices comes expense of the spiritual self. Those we surround ourselves with provide us with advice they believe to be helpful, but is little more than revisiting of their own wounds and dysfunction. Black Rainbow describes the plea for help, lost in translation”.

This is the second taste from Crooked Ghost’s forthcoming album ‘Colors Bleed’. It comes fresh on the heels of the first single ‘Sinew in Red’. The Smiths, Suede, The Cure, Muse, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Gun Club, early R.E.M. While the vocals somewhat recall Robert Smith and Prefab Sprout here, the overall sound seems closer to The Smiths in particular for this track, especially with the format of fun upbeat instrumentation with also seemingly happy vocals but a depression-laden thematic.

‘Colors Bleed’ is the third release from Asheville, North Carolina-based collective, following on the heels of their ‘Skeleton House’ album, released in February 2019 on limited edition 12″ colored vinyl. These four new songs see the Ghosts moving in a more colorful direction. The songs are bigger and brighter than those before, with dreamy melodies, and some of Crooked Ghost’s most honest lyrics to date.

This EP was recorded in Black Mountain, NC by longtime friend and producer Edward Madill. It was mastered by Adam Boose at Cauliflower Audio. The songs on this EP itself was inspired by mental illness and the struggles of growing up LGBTQ in a not-so-accepting world.

Formed in 2013 by Ray Lark, Crooked Ghost was initially a channel for leftover songs that didn’t seem to fit in any of the other bands he was involved in, but quickly became the focal point of Ray’s creative energy. Today Crooked Ghost is Ray Lark (guitar, vocals), Chris Saldin (bass), Alex Cannon (keyboard), Jon Wyatt (drums) and Charles Reed (guitar) and Alex Cannon (keyboards).

The band released their debut LP ‘Strange Burial Rituals’ in March 2017. With two distinct halves (the first is lighter, the second darker), the album plays out like a story, or rather, two opposite stories that are intertwined. Their most recent videos are for ‘Roadkill’ and ‘Sleepwalker’.

‘Colors Bleed’ EP will be released on September 20 on limited edition CD through the band’s own imprint, and will be available digitally across platforms such as iTunes and Spotify.  It can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.

1. Black Rainbow
2. Sinew In Red
3. Golden Blue
4. Bright White Noise

You should also enjoy the first single off this EP:

You can follow developments with Crooked Ghost via their Facebook, Bandcamp and iTunes. Follow them on YouTube, Twitter , Instagram, Soundcloud and Spotify.

All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

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Born and bred in Lancashire, currently residing in the Rossendale Valley. Everything deserves one listen, but, not necessarily a second. Only (ex-Community) DJ to ever play Nat ‘King’Cole followed by Nine Inch Nails, and, eat Fish and Chips live on air.


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