Ghost Lights Delivers the Musical Equivalent of a Spa Treatment (album review)

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By Nelanthi Hewa
1 year 4 months ago
Filed under Indie

Next up is someone who plucks every string of an indie folk-lover's heart. Who is he? Noah Cebuliak, or Ghost Lights. Hailing from our very own Montreal, his music is better than a deep-muscle massage- which is not something that can be said about many. The piano/acoustic guitar combo is a classic indie folk mix, bringing to mind dark winter evenings or soft voyages through a misty dreamscape. Ghost Lights recently released his EP, Saltwater, on November 27th on Bandcamp and iTunes, and it’s been a while since I listented to a new album so many times in a row.

First of all, the album is insanely relaxing, which is, considering it’s the time of dreaded finals, a wonderful thing. The album is ideal background music: it’s smooth and soothing, and Noah Cebuliak has a really nice, clear voice. The first song on the EP, “Fog Chief”, instantly draws you in with catchy guitar chords and Noah’s distinctive voice. Plus, the lyrics are very interesting, and more than a little obscure. The words are poetic and the vocals definitely do them justice. In particular, the way Noah sings the line on the back roads, when the moon glows, in the dead of night, is just perfect. This song is simple, but deceptively so. There’s nothing easy about the way poeticism and musicality are combined.

“A Train is Coming” is reminiscent of those grey, rainy scenes in classic movies, but this song doesn’t stand out for me the way the previous one did. It’s slow and nice, but nothing much more than that. However, the lyrics again are really excellent.

“Thundercloud” is more jaunty, with a quicker beat and staccato singing, and it still retains that unhurried, swaying quality that permeates all of Ghost Lights songs. If you’re like me, and you listen to a song because of the vocals, Saltwater is definitely the EP for you.

“The Flask”, written by Joe McDougall rather than (I assume) Noah Cebuliak, sounds different from the rest of the tracks. It has a haunting note to it that the others don’t, but keeps that slow, acoustic beat. Different, but not very different.

“Heart of Wind” is another quiet, beautiful song that is warm and yet evocative of the winter. Ghost Lights moves away from the guitar with this one, and uses the piano instead, making the song gentle and sleepy. Saltwater is a small EP, with only six tracks, but Noah Cebuliak shows us that he is talented, musically and lyrically. While the songs do sound similar in a lot of ways, Ghost Lights has just begun, which leaves plenty of time for branching out. Check out Saltwater down below, and be sure to read the lyrics here.

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