After a significant break from the release of their second record Close Your Eyes and Listen, Calgary quartet Locomotive Ghost are back with a very seasonally fitting new EP. Marking the beginning of an ambitious DIY project called “Seasons”, the band plans to release a series of four 7” vinyl records corresponding to each season. With each 7”, and thus each season, the band states on their website that they “will explore the emotional realities that come with each [season], and the passage of time.”
Obviously a thematically sound EP, Locomotive Ghost deliver it all through their unique mix of folk, rock, pop, and spoken word poetry – the latter element providing the band with a continued distinction carried over from their previous record. One of the highlights from Close Your Eyes and Listen, bassist Ben Nixon is back with his spoken-word poetry which is scattered through two songs from Spring.
As the weather here in Toronto slowly and indecisively shows signs of spring, the EP’s middle track, “The Sun Will Shine,” particularly captures any current weather related feelings. With lyrics like, “Oh the winter was hard on me. Froze my hopes and shattered my dreams” and “sun will shine, it will shine again. Yes, I know it will but I can’t say when,” this standout track nicely captures the need we all have to shake off those winter blues.
Lyrics aside, “The Sun Will Shine” ends with an intense musical build up, thanks to an interesting combo which completely pays off, of a huge guitar solo over Nixon’s previously mentioned spoken-word poetry. Just like spring itself feels like a breath of fresh air from the chaos of winter weather, on the other side of this build up, “The Sun Will Shine” ends with the peaceful sounds of birds chirping.
Along with the briefly heard Nixon in “The Sun Will Shine,” “Springscape” is where he is able to really shine. A fairly instrumentally sparse track, Nixon nicely using nature symbolism and expresses the vitality, with regards to both nature itself and the human spirit, that comes with the awakening of the season.
The EP is bookended by two songs which are folk-rock to their core. The opener, “This Damn Addiction” is a very fun and upbeat number while the closer “All I Need” features a great banjo section, folky guitar solos, and some gruff emotional vocals, for a very pleasing combo.
Continuing their, at times, unique medley of music styles, Locomotive Ghost’s Spring is a solid beginning to what should be a very praiseworthy year long project.
Top Tracks: “The Sun Will Shine”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)