Sunday, April 21 2024

Chase the River‘s latest offering ‘Ghost’ stands out in a landscape where many songwriters attempt to evoke nostalgia, often stumbling into clichéd and overly sentimental territory. Stuart Lunn, the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist at the helm of Chase the River and a Belfast native, re-enters the music scene in 2024 with this compelling ballad.

Having previously shared stages with notable bands like Feeder and Matrimony before the disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic, Lunn’s return marks a notable resurgence with this poignant composition. Collaborating with Lauren White, whom he encountered during an open mic session while composing ‘Ghost’, adds depth to the track’s narrative and enriches the song’s storytelling fabric.

The song immediately captivates the listener with its haunting piano and organ arrangement, setting a poignant tone that intensifies further with the introduction of the vocals . Lunn’s raw yet strikingly emotive delivery, reminiscent of the depth found in Rob Thomas’s (Matchbox 20) vocal stylings, intertwines seamlessly with White’s ethereal, angelic voice, akin to the enchanting backing vocals seen in the emotional folk songs of Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan. The song’s exquisite harmonies, beautiful written lyrics  and captivating melody, driven by mesmeric piano lines, create a gradual, entrancing build-up. This crescendo, midway through the song, reaches its apex with the introduction of drums and guitar, injecting a dynamic energy that transforms the composition into a soft rock ballad with alternative influences reminiscent of The National. The tonal shift gives the song power and depth, with Lunn’s vocals taking on a Tom Waits-like quality while White’s spellbinding harmonies infuse the track with melancholy and nostalgia.

‘Ghost’ explores the theme of revisiting cherished places from the past, reflecting on bygone days while observing a new generation reliving similar experiences. It poignantly touches on the transient nature of relationships, acknowledging those who were once significant in life but have faded away over time. Lunn’s inspiration, a Belfast bar steeped in bittersweet memories, forms the emotive backdrop for this introspective piece.

The song’s enthralling build-up, underscored by hypnotic and melancholic piano melodies, alongside the interplay of Lunn’s gritty vocal style and White’s angelic voice, transports the listener to moments of intense personal reflection, rendering it an instant replay-worthy composition. I found myself hitting that repeat button immediately after the first listen. With its magnetic allure and emotive depth, ‘Ghost’ stands poised to make a significant impact and could very well find its place among chart-topping hits. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Ghost’ achieves this feat, given its undeniable appeal and compelling emotional resonance.

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Review

Summary

‘Ghost’ by Chase the River is a poignant musical journey exploring nostalgia and cherished memories, skillfully crafted with beautiful lyrics, haunting melodies and striking emotive vocals. This song is destined for chart-topping success.
90%

Rating

song quality
vocal performances
lyrics
instrumentation
production
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About Author

Gee Nelson

Gee Nelson has been a musician, producer and songwriter since the '90’s. Besides music Gee loves reading, writing, watching British sitcoms and playing board games. His biggest influences are Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring and Eels. His favourite genre is 90’s and early 00’s (indie) rock.

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