MP3s: Rural Ghosts

MP3: Rural Ghosts – Rural Ghosts

MP3: Rural Ghosts – Bright Side

The sparsely intimate folk of Rural Ghosts is bound to conjure up Jeff Buckley comparisons, mainly for how Erik Neilson projects his chilly yet powerful quiver over hazy acoustics ranging from high-pitched arpeggios to gently strummed rhythmic backbones. The track “Rural Ghosts”, same as the project name, is a stunner. The material has a very natural flow, so it’s apt that many of the songs on his debut EP are accompanied by the subtly beautiful sounds of nature — like wind brushing against trees, or the pattering of rain. Some tracks like “Bright Side” don’t need much more than Neilson’s voice, which here falls somewhere between Buckley, Phil Elverum, and recently featured The Overcoat. You’ll get the whiff of Buckley during the wordless choirs of sorts – present on most tracks, like just after the 3-minute mark on “Bright Side” – and Elverum and The Overcoat during the developing verses. Iron & Wine fans may also enjoy the tone, a mellow yet emotional stirring of traditional folk, gospel, and pop.

Check out the rest of the EP here, which Neilson calls “sparse ballads of death, love and regret, set against the thick & mysterious ambiance of Maine’s North Woods.” It’s a very impressive effort from the Portland, Maine native, who seems poised to gain a nice following.

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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