For the members of Ghostplay, their new album means a piece of permanence in the ever changing local music landscape.
“Often, bands come and go and they don’t have decent recording and for me that’s what lasts,” says Leticia Garcia, guitarist for Ghostplay. “Bands part ways, especially local bands - for me having a recording is very meaningful."
The experimental ambient band is releasing its debut EP, titled 33, Friday evening at Old Ironsides.
Garcia and baritone guitarist Jason Hess have been working together for about three years. Hess' baritone fills in the lower notes, getting them the sound they want with one less player.
“It sort of just adds to the character of the band,” says Garcia. "We just didn’t feel the need for a bassist.”
The couple are engaged and they found it was logistically easier to organize themselves and just one other person, drummer Armando Gonzales.
Garcia says she been playing music for years before teaming up with Hess.
“We have two totally different playing styles. At first it was kind of a challenge to play together,” says Garcia. “I would confuse him a lot with my playing style.”
They worked through that. Garcia says she really learned the power of collaboration and being open to other people’s input during the making of this album. A more collaborative approach makes for a better product, says Garcia, who likes the complexity and depth Hess brings to the songs.
“It’s been great working with him - I think the songs come out a whole lot more fluid,” says Garcia.
The five-song EP has a lazy-hazy spacey-shoegaze feel, with a polish of good production. Hess and Garcia and guest drummer, Mike Couloures, recorded the album in San Francisco with producer Monte Vallier.
Ghostplay is releasing the CD and cassettes through Davis-based record label Noise Loves Audio, originating from a KDVS radio show. The album cover was designed by Sacramento artist and musician John Conley.
Across the five songs you’ll find touches of darkness with bright friendly melodic guitar, Hess’s growly moody vocals and Garcia’s breathy, ethereal vocals. The album is loud without loosing the complexities that makes each song interesting. Some songs are dance-oriented while others are more dragging and sad.
Overall this debut is a promising first step for this fledgling act.