Friday, September 2, 2011

Have You Seen My Ghost Float Away

After nearly three years creating music together, Marietta emo/punk band Have You Seen My Ghost have decided to part ways, signaling the end of the Ghost group. With four EP's and one album (comprising the first three EP's) under their belts, the Ghosts have decided that their legacy would best be served by taking some time to focus on their own new projects and directions. Coming just months after the release of their most recent EP, EXIST (a considerable departure from the sound of their previous recordings by my ear), I am myself more than a little disappointed to see the end of what I consider to be one of the best things about Marietta, Georgia. Yet I realize that each HYSMG member needs to explore new directions musically, so the flip side of my somber disappointment is a curious happiness fueled by a looking forward to new sounds by each of the HYSMG members.
It seems that Lee Jennings, lead vocalist and former bassist for the band, has hit the ground running, assessing new options and already assuming control of a new solo project that I'm sure will show promise with its first rough cuts. Through my years listing to HYSMG, Jennings' voice has carried the group to new heights with a powerful drive that makes Ghost's music transcendent as well as accessible to any teen feeling they just need someone to listen. It goes without saying that the fans Jennings has accumulated over the years (with the help of the other Ghost guys) will undoubtedly follow his new project and see where it takes him, and I intend to be one of those on that bandwagon.
Yet Jennings wasn't the only creative force behind the Ghost sound: Grayson Blanchette provided guitar and bass blasts throughout the lifetime of the band, and with drum and guitar prowess currently rounded out by David Nelson and Mike Gardella (respectively), HYSMG's evolving sound on their most recent and apparent final release, the EP EXIST, was something to take note of. As Jennings is compelled to do, I'm sure that the other Ghost members will find new musical outlets to sick their creative talents on, and I can only hope I am there to hear and reap their benefits.
It occurs to me now, though, as I think about the last few years I have spent listening to and getting to know the guys behind the Ghost, I can't help but be impressed with their growth and the plateau that I feel they ended their group on (their EP, EXIST). As a fan, it's always hard to see a group make the decision to go their separate ways, but as a fan and a journalist, it makes me happy to see the end come on the coattails of such a creative high note. I am sure that I haven't seen the last of the Ghost guys, and I look forward now with eager ears to the new music I am sure is coming soon. 

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