GHOST COP (Lucy Swope + Sean Dack) released their very first full-length, One Weird Trick, earlier this month; they’ve said is “an expansion” of their debut EP, but “fuller and darker”, and it’s AMAZING. Since they’ve got a show coming up tomorrow at Brooklyn Bazaar (with Light Asylum and Korine), and since they were kind enough to offer, we’ve got a rad four-track listening party for you to peruse! In addition to the tunes, Lucy and Sean have provided some background info for each one – ch-ch-ch-ch-check all of that out below, and if you like what you hear, find even more GHOST COP on bandcamp + iTunes + Spotify + SoundCloud! HERE WE GO:
Lucy: In the spring of May 2016, we were invited by Little Cinema to help re-soundtrack their presentation of Blade Runner. This song was originally written for the scene where Deckard is enhancing the photograph, hence the name. This is the closest thing we have to the traditional synthwave sound. Two months later, when Stranger Things came out, we were like “oh shit, we missed a wave.” In that vein, we have a music video coming for this, inspired by 70s horror movies.
Sean: Classic synth based film soundtracks are definitely in our DNA, but also in the collective DNA of listeners as well. The title is the nod to Blade Runner but sonically the track is probably closer to a hybrid of influences like Tangerine Dream and Berlin-era Bowie. We wrote this originally as a instrumental and it changed and progressed over time until we recorded it, only really solidifying at that moment.
Lucy: The hidden gem. The initial idea for this was a spoken word rant, inspired by Spider Jerusalem from the graphic novel Transmetropolitan. The working title was “The Grind/I Hate It Here.” But as the instrumental progressed, it turned into a mellower track, and that kind of vitriol seemed misplaced (maybe we’ll write that song yet). But I struggled to find this new storytelling voice. The only line I could think of was “so I was walking down the street,” like a bad stand-up comedian trying to tell a joke. I couldn’t get it out of my head, so the only solution was to just write it in, as a joke about a joke. Then the rest flowed. There is a literary inspiration, no one’s called us out on it yet. Once we embraced the absurdist vibe, we wanted to add a classic downtown, post-disco feel. We were so lucky to get our friends Gabe Andruzzi and W Andrew Raposo to guest on this track to really take it there. Plus the vocal Abe Seiferth helped us get in studio is perfect, like the AI voice for an emergency response system trying to do improv.
One Weird Trick
Sean: This song was the beginning of V 2.0 for GHOST COP. In the Summer of 2016 we were struggling with which direction to take things and at the time I was listening to some quite experimental acts like Patten. I liked how they made taught beat driven music that somehow subverted traditional notions of dance music. The song started out with the beat and I sort of turned it inside out with the kick and snare trading places, it also feels a bit like a punk styled “blast beat.” It’s a maximalist track with lots of overlaying ideas and hooks dropping in and out, sometimes only happening once. None of it really made any sense until Lucy made it all fit together with the lyrics which are fantastically image laden and panoramic. The finale came to be literally by a MIDI quirk in one of the machines we use, that probably isn’t really supposed to happen.
Lucy: Engineer/producer Abe Seiferth described our album as different rooms in the same house. I think this song sets up a frame for that, and oh by the way, the house is haunted.
Listen to the Sound
Lucy: An on-going part of our process is the push-and-pull of knowing when to trust or abandon our instincts. I couldn’t find a way to make anything lie on top of this glorious, weird, epic instrumental Sean had created, so I used cut-up method and wrote a short story inspired by it. It’s one of the few times in my work when I actually feel like I conjured something, in this case, the spirit of an angry witch. Still it took a lot of questioning and guts to just read it that way. I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House helped inspire the vocal effects and delivery. It still needed a little something, so last minute–like right before we went into the studio–Kim Boekbinder agreed to be our witch. Not to let any cats out of the bag, but this song is a sort of proof of concept for a new project direction we’re trying to expand into. Storytelling and soundscapes.
Featured photo by Lissy Elle