Ghosts & Liars – “Sunsets on the Sidenotes”
Back in 2006, when Obscure Sound compiled its first annual Best Albums list, I included an unknown act from Washington at the #9 spot. Their name was Some By Sea, and 2006 saw the release of their final album, On Fire! (Igloo). Parts thumping arena-sized rock and parts lush classical orchestration, the album showed one of the most original and distinctive sounds of the year. Some By Sea was one of the first finds on this site that I was proud of exposing, even if they were no more by the time I included them in the year-end list. Lead singer/songwriter Chris DuBray went on to form a group called Ghosts & Liars with some other Some By Sea members. And although that project broke up after only a year, they left behind two quality tracks in “Sunsets on the Sidenotes” and “We’ll Carry On“.
“Sunsets on the Sidenotes” has some serious Arcade Fire vibes in the lead-up to the chorus, with swelling guitars that gradually rise in prominence and fervor. DuBray’s nasally voice and the undercurrents of strings are the primary relics of Some By Sea here, but it’s apparent that Ghosts & Liars were gearing toward a more rock-oriented sound. “Sunsets on the Sidenotes” shows that well, all while retaining Some By Sea’s penchant for sweeping orchestral arrangements. “If we get through,” DuBray starts during the chorus, which takes a surprising Interpol-y twist with its love for tremolo and post-punk rhythmic repetition. It’s unfortunate Ghosts & Liars had to break up, but it doesn’t take away from the quality of “Sunsets on the Sidenotes” and “Carry On”.