Review:: Golden Hour | Ghost Town Jenny

It’s an impressive feat when a release from a new[-er], young[-er] group can impact a listener on its first play-through. 
Ghost Town Jenny’s latest EPdoes just that.
Soft yet soulful, Golden Hour beautifully tells four stories throughout four tracks; stories of homesickness and finding oneself, of nostalgia and saying goodbyes.

The sound on Golden Hour is carried greatly by Kim Kylland’s remarkable vocal capabilities, which is instantly hypnotizing. Supported by string arrangements that are both delicate and forceful, in addition to graceful piano work, synths, and percussion, each piece falls perfectly into place.

To name one song to focus on would be to slight the other three. Each brings its own specialties that are worth mention, while still holding the record together as a whole. Introductory “Suwanee” is folky and the closest thing to upbeat, lead along by steady thumping percussion. The Gatsby-inspired “Lights” gives total freedom to Kylland’s vocal range, which she takes full advantage of.  

The title track tells of breakup and heartache as Kylland wails “Obviously we saw different things / and now that I’m back these shades won’t match up / Now every day is colored blue / I feel I can’t reach you / though you’re just across the room,” before a beautiful Corey Christopher violin outro. Finale “See You in Eternity” is reminiscent and hopeful, written as a gentle tribute to Kylland’s father and serving as a nice closing to the record.

What I felt most after Golden Hour was how quickly I realized that it was over. Just as the group ropes you in, they release you. Though, not really. The gorgeous vocals, the classical violin, the playful piano keys and percussion, resonate long after the last notes of “See You in Eternity” fade out. I can’t say for sure what we’ll get from Ghost Town Jenny in the coming months, but I can hope that we get much more.

Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Rating: 4.20/5
Runtime: 17:30

1. “Suwanee”
2. “Lights”
3. “Golden Hour”
4. “See You In Eternity”

Ghost Town Jenny is:
Kim Kylland: Vocals, guitar, piano
Johan Svensson: Synths
Corey Christopher Mike: Violin
(Percussion on this EP was played by guest drummer Chris Nishimoto)

Check out Ghost Town Jenny on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Written By: Eric Riley

Interview With:: Ghost Town Jenny

{ All questions answered by songwriter and vocalist, Kim Kylland }

Upon my first listen to Ghost Town Jenny, I immediately fell in love and also immediately thought of Cara Salimando of Novelette. Prior to her forming Novelette, she was a solo singer/songwriter and I actually read that Kim was also a solo artist prior to forming the band. How did Ghost Town Jenny (the band) form?

After years of doing the solo ‘girl with a guitar’ type thing, I just got so bored. I was yearning to play with others, in a permanent group, and I was lucky enough to meet Corey when I was going to school in Berkeley. We played together a few times, and it just worked so we kept on. He really understands my musical language, and is a lot of fun to play with. I met Johan at Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark, and we hit it off. We kept in touch through letters over the years, and in 2010 he moved to California permanently. We have drummers play with us occasionally, but so far it’s just we three who make up the core of the band. We all look forward to finding a steady drummer though. A Fourth. Like in (90’s movie) ‘The Craft’ 🙂 

You guys bring some really interesting influences to your music which we see in your use of different instruments, including a violin and a harp. What made you decide to include these instruments in your music and really set yourself a part from other artists?

I am not sure it was a conscious decision. We just tend to bring in the elements we do because they best capture what we hear in our heads. Plus, I feel the need to change quite often, and playing many different instruments affords me that freedom.

Your newest EP, Golden Hour, is set to release on January 28th and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. Which song off this EP are you most excited for your fans to hear and why?

I am so glad you are enjoying it!! I think we are most excited for people to hear the title track, simply because it is one of our favorites to play live right now… it also very strongly conveys the overall feelings of the entire EP… loss, hope, wanderlust, longing for home, nostalgia, new beginnings, dreaminess.

In a previous interview, you guys mentioned that your live shows come across as raw, emotional, and bare. In my opinion, your music is very personable and I think if it doesn’t move you in one way or another than…I mean…you might not have a soul. As a listener, your new EP definitely grabs your attention and makes you feel all of these different emotions, but as a musician have you ever ended up being too caught up in that almost vulnerable aspect either live or when it comes to writing songs?

Definitely in the writing process…But I think that’s because I allow myself to be vulnerable in those times, because I am alone. I can’t write with other people in the room. It’s a very personal time and space for me. On stage it’s different though. I am so enveloped in the experience of performing, of communing with the listener, that I don’t let the emotion of the song overtake me completely. There is a fire in performing. I feel like a wolf. It’s hard to explain. I sang at my father’s funeral last summer, because I knew he would have wanted that. Before hand, when I was trying to practice the song, I was so overcome with emotion I could barely speak. And when I opened my mouth to sing the first lines of the song in the church, nothing came out, and it was such a strange experience because I’d never had a problem like this before. I was finally able to focus and pull it together a bit more in order to sing the song. It was hard, but I am so glad I did it. I am very grateful that I was able to.

You guys released 2 live EPs, both live from the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. Where did the idea of a live EP come from and do you think it’s something you would do again?

Our dear friend and photographer Claire Marie Vogel recorded our sets from two different Iceland Airwaves shows. We liked how they sounded, and since we felt that none of our other recordings really represented our live sound, we just decided to offer them as downloads on our bandcamp page. They are not official releases, just bandcamp releases. They were magical nights for us though, and I am so happy that people want to listen to them. We love playing live, and I definitely think we would make a live record if we were given the right chance.

After listening to the Golden Hour EP, I’m left with wanting to hear more. Can we expect a full length album sometime soon?

Yes!! Recording a full length record is our number one priority for 2014 (aside from touring!). You can definitely expect something more from us before the year’s end. 

What can we expect next from Ghost Town Jenny?

Lots of live shows. A full length record. AND a new music video! We shot the most beautiful music video recently, with an incredible director named Samantha Shay. It was a truly transformative experience making that video, and I can’t wait for people to see it. I am hoping it will be released sometime in late February or early March. 

Thank you for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I love that you love our EP. Thanks for taking the time to look us up and interview us 🙂

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