Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Album Review: Hurricane Bells - Tonight is the Ghost

Under the moniker Hurricane Bells, Longwave frontman Steve Schiltz has made himself a space between pop and indie rock with Tonight is the Ghost. Vagrant Records released the album back in November of last year, but the album proves itself to be a pleasing year-round listen.

Hurricane Bells first came to national recognition with the arrival of New Moon, the second installment in the film series based on the wildly popular Twilight books. The song that made it onto the soundtrack, "Monsters," is one of a few that Schiltz wrote for Longwave but didn't feel fit with the band's sound. It doesn't make it onto Tonight is the Ghost, but nonetheless, Schiltz demonstrates that he has enough talent to stand on his own as an artist, rather than just being known as "that guy who did that song from Twilight."

The first four tracks run smoothly enough that your mind begins to drift elsewhere, but Schiltz reels you back in with "Darkness is So Deep." It's a warm, slightly reggae-tinged tune that, with a horn section, could almost be ska. Following it is a pleasant instrumental, "Crocodile," which expands on the content mood set up by "Darkness is So Deep." Either would be essential to any spring/summer party playlist, and together they are the highlight of the album.

Generally soft and soothing, Tonight is the Ghost is a good record to listen to if you need something simple and laid-back. Schiltz's mix of gentle lyrics with deep instrumentals throughout are enough to calm you down but not bore you to death. Hurricane Bells currently has no dates scheduled for the Triangle, but you can purchase a hard copy Tonight is the Ghost from the band's MySpace or through the online retailer of your choice.

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