9 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded with musician/artist Chad VanGaalen (a fellow Calgarian) at the helm, this full-length debut by Extra Happy Ghost!!!—also known as Matthew Swann—is an evolutionary step for the artist. The songs take a slightly firmer shape over his 2009 EP, How the Beach Boys Sound to Those with No Feelings, though the “experimental” tag still applies. There's an unsettling gloom at work, a rather bleak unease that sporadically gives way to rays of light. “Mercy Mercy” opens the proceedings with a curious plodding that somehow feels light and airy, while Swann intones “Kill all your gods” in a pleasant croon amid chirpy vintage organ and sparse guitar. Before you have time to scratch your head, an ultra-cool, reverb-dipped guitar rings in the track “So at One,” a midtempo hand-clapper that's both haunting and sassy. The track's latter half feels like a specter has inhabited the tune and is wandering in the background, looking for a place to anchor. Every song on Modern Horses has a unique quality or surprise—such as a sudden shift into dissonance or easy melody—which renders it worth serious attention.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded with musician/artist Chad VanGaalen (a fellow Calgarian) at the helm, this full-length debut by Extra Happy Ghost!!!—also known as Matthew Swann—is an evolutionary step for the artist. The songs take a slightly firmer shape over his 2009 EP, How the Beach Boys Sound to Those with No Feelings, though the “experimental” tag still applies. There's an unsettling gloom at work, a rather bleak unease that sporadically gives way to rays of light. “Mercy Mercy” opens the proceedings with a curious plodding that somehow feels light and airy, while Swann intones “Kill all your gods” in a pleasant croon amid chirpy vintage organ and sparse guitar. Before you have time to scratch your head, an ultra-cool, reverb-dipped guitar rings in the track “So at One,” a midtempo hand-clapper that's both haunting and sassy. The track's latter half feels like a specter has inhabited the tune and is wandering in the background, looking for a place to anchor. Every song on Modern Horses has a unique quality or surprise—such as a sudden shift into dissonance or easy melody—which renders it worth serious attention.

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