Formed in 2005, Jessicas Ghost are Emma Thorbinson (vocals/acoustic guitar,) Christoph Demetriou (violin and backing vocals), Ian Moxham (bass, backing vocals, mandolin, mandola, banjo, harmonica), Christopher “R-Chris” Shaw (electric and acoustic guitars, tenor ukulele), Craig Smith (keyboards, percussion, drum programming) and David Thorbinson (drums, backing vocals, slide guitar). This is the bands second album, the first being ‘The Winning Hand’ launched in 2009 which received rave reviews. Losing Track Of Time includes additional vocals from Alison Moxham, Erin Moxham and Richard JL Smith.
Jessicas Ghost are, in their own words, an alternative folk-infused rock band. They have played across the UK and Europe and have shared the stage with Paloma Faith, The Noisettes, Bastille, James Walsh (Starsailor), The Guillemots and Tinchy Stryder amongst others. This is a diverse and varied line up for the band to have played with, but it shows the wide appeal they have across a number of genres.
You can’t help but note the professional feel to the album from the excellent musicianship to the production. I can’t say I was smitten from the first listen to the album but it has grown on me.
The instrumental intros to the likes of ‘Big City Lights’, ‘A-O’, the piano on ‘Vegas’ and the guitar on ‘Home’ get your attention. Whether it is the clean sound of ‘Home’ or the more rocky feel of ‘The Fire’ or ‘1989’ there is something for almost every one! My personal favourites include ‘Vegas’ – the beautifully sung lyrics with the piano and violin accompaniment just cry out to be played and played. Then the harmonies on ‘A-O’ work so well. There are a few nice quirky starts to tracks such as the spooky child voice on ‘Jessica’ and the footsteps followed by some good harmonica and foot tapping fiddle on ‘Sinking Ships’. Emma Thorbinson writes all the lyrics but the music side of things is more of a group effort. Most of the basic ideas are Emma’s or R-Chris’ Shaw- they are then developed by the band or driven by the lyric.
The band says their influences are varied with so many different styles of music! The common ground lies with bands like Fleetwood Mac, Noah and The Whale, Midlake, Death Cab for Cutie and REM. Some of us are into more folky artists like Bellowhead, Seth Lakeman and Fairport Convention while others are more at home with Metalica, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. It’s a strange melting pot of ideas but it looks to be working.
I have heard that the band put on an energetic live show second to none and maybe I’ll pop along to their next event (below) to find out for myself.