Standing In The Shadow Of Your Ghost offers audiences an intense array of explicitly human ideas, feelings and soundscapes. Beginning with the undeniably hard hitting Don’t Belong, the album is easily as heavy as it is emotional.
The opening track smashes into action with high energy, distortion and volume. It’s a sound that surrounds you, effectively numbing any pre-existing pains and drawing your focus to right here in this moment. It’s intense and all encompassing.
As Capsized begins to play, a slightly more approachable and even delicate indie-rock inspired sound emerges, yet what’s great about it is that it fits beautifully with the mood created by the opener. The leading vocal and much of the instrumentation is instantly familiar; this notable, striking thread starts to appear. There’s a lot of comfort to be taken in creative sincerity.
Falling helps the project climb yet another rung of the indie anthem ladder, overwhelming you with reverb soaked ideas and organic-meets-electronic ambiance. The structure keeps you captivated throughout, and just in case those lyrics passed you by as you dreamed you were elsewhere within the pure escapism of this music, the instrumentation defines a story line and guides you somewhere fairly emotional and both personal and universally accessible. The struggle is real, it’s unique, yet it’s always so much closer to home that we often comprehend. The songs throughout this album portray a good balance between the personal and the accessible, the essence of human emotion and experience, with volume, and music that passionately reflects these feelings.
There are moments of possible influence within the album, but for the most part this take on electronic rock is quite unique – this utterly personal, open, unapologetic form of expression. Only Strangers is the first released single from the album and it’s the perfect fusion of the loud and the real. The band put forth a captivating wall of sound that soaks you in psychedelic images, a powerful dreamland, yet one that constantly pays tribute to the absolute grit and truth of real life.
All For You is a pretty blissful moment of calm within the collection. The slow and seductive beat, the distant echo of the electric guitar, the satisfying yet just out of reach leading melody – it’s everything indie rock intended to be; the opposite of generic pop, an ocean of honesty, a reality that needs no reason to be. The emotional purity is enhanced by the stripped back nature of the music, particularly as you pass the half way mark and the instrumentation falls away almost completely. The words are laid bare, the emotion, the declaration, the love. It reminds you of the humanness that this album encapsulates.
So Long brings the energy back up; the distorted, colliding riffs, the haunting echo of ideas and melodies. The music is all at once calm and manic, creating around you this energy that in part warms you and in part sends shivers down your spine. The music soon erupts into something light years away from the predictable. It’s mesmerising to witness.
The latter half of the project brings more of that familiar Stellarscope thread you’ve come to find comfort in, yet there’s a distinct change in energy by the time You Feel It Too starts to play. Whether it’s the notes chosen or the concepts presented by the lyrics, there’s a feeling of acceptance or hope or something like the doorway from sadness to oh well, what’s next – I’m ready for it. The song has a certain strength, one that evolves in a unique way and offers these mixed feelings that somehow seem very sure of themselves. Not unlike the way it feels to be human a lot of the time.
Nothing To Me offers a slight a contrast to the previous track, the concept seems a little disconnected in comparison, and the music comes across as more of a singular piece of art – the various sections all fading into one particular moment of expression. It’s an interesting moment and definitely one that makes you think a little more deeply about what’s being presented. No Reason Why follows a similar pathway, through there’s a striking level of instrumentation here that, once again, surrounds you to the point that this current moment is almost entirely forgotten or is being experienced via some other realm.
The appropriately titled This Is How It Ends brings things to a close. The band combine all efforts and energies to present this poetic, haunting, gripping final moment of music and intensity. The sound is undoubtedly Stellarscope, and to take home the album is to immediately familiarise yourself with it and to find yourself unknowingly exploring the various heights of human emotion. Well worth checking out if you’re a fan of hard core indie rock or intricate songwriting.