Ghost Boy

Ghost Boy

Sanders Bohlke is well aware of the alluring powers of his androgynous voice. Without any backing accompaniment, his self-sung harmonies open the first song, “Pharaoh,” on his second album. When the band comes in, the song transforms into a beautiful dirge where his gossamer inflections rub against the grit of distorted electric guitars and heavyhanded rhythms. The following title track is a beautifully muted slice of indie pop that’s punctuated by handclap percussion and a sophisticated, catchy piano melody that takes residence right between the ears. Though his tunes aren't throwbacks to indie rock’s heyday, it’s easy to tell that Bohlke came of age then—songs like the haunting ballad “Lights Explode” float over distant-sounding guitar feedback that howls in the background like an old Slowdive record. He's a native of Oxford, Miss., and there are rootsy elements of this Southern upbringing in the bluesy standout “An Unkindness of Ravens.” But rather than go the classic route with slide guitars, Hammond organ, and other telltale trappings, Bohlke dresses up a 1-4-5 progression with rich cello tones and a heavily effected guitar wash.

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