"Ghost Notes" - Bwank! Review

Everest's Ghost Notes | Making Hay While The Sun Shines

In music, a ghost note is a musical note that is purposely de-emphasized—sometimes to the extent of near-silence—in order to convey a subtle yet much more affecting piece altogether. Moreover, there is a lot more that can be said if the overall presentation is less forceful: Sometimes, less is more. And that is exactly what is underscored in Everest's forthcoming album Ghost Notes.

In a predominantly digital world, the notion of recording directly to analog tape could be interpreted as simply inane. Although the computer-less process may seem almost anachronistic, producer Mike Terry is masterful at exploiting it. The resulting disc exudes a pervasive warmth and, furthermore, harbors an unutterable quality unique to classic recordings.

The album's opening track "Rebels In The Roses" best captures Everest's earnest, folk-tinged essence. Sprawling acoustic guitars are fortified by lightly-distorted, meticulously strummed licks and fervent melodies are neatly sewn together with sporadic additions of Hammond organ. Front man Russell Pollard craggily croons his way to the forefront in a seemingly bashful demeanor. And he sheepishly confesses: "If you find me I'll be yours in a heartbeat."

There is a certain fragile sense of hope surrounding every utterance that simply reverberates through your bones. Similarly, "Trees" finds Pollard down on his knees once more, beseeching forgiveness. His tattered tone is brimming with such conviction that it pains you not to listen to the man.

The deftly devised moments in which Everest shine the most are undoubtedly the softer ones. For it is Pollard's back-breaking vocals amidst the near-silence that impart a distinctive depth and poignancy. Reposeful tunes like "Angry Storm" and "Standing By" engage the listener through delicately arranged yet powerfully persuasive deliverances, proving that the band members are indeed capable of relaying all the experience that they have collectively garnered.

Pollard has undoubtedly found his duties increasingly onerous. Yet Ghost Notes is an effectual alt-country-rock tour de force that never seems to lose momentum. Perhaps Everest are as indefatigable as the name suggests.