Story Sound

BY MONICA SABELLA, A&E Editor

Photo courtesy of itunes
Photo courtesy of itunes

Hungry Ghosts: a curious name for a band. What captures a listener more is the haunting melodies associated with that name. The strange and mysterious music gently coaxes the mind to follow a winding road in and out of minor key signatures, to reveal a story all its own.

Known particularly for their involvement in the post-rock genre, the quintet of Hungry Ghosts formed in 2001 to create their first album. Echoing the simplistic, yet bittersweet melancholy of the Romantic period especially composers like Eric Satie, this indie band stands out among the onslaught of new-age artists erupting today.

Some have described the group as, “…blessed with the ability to utter a million words with a single instrumental phrase and to turn a melancholy passage into a triumphant climax.” One look at their album, and already a story has begun to emerge. Titles like “Nothing Has to Happen,” “The Man Who Refused to Kill,” “Three Sisters,” “Trying to Lift a Rock with a Bottle on Your Head,” “I Don’t Think about You Anymore, but I Don’t Think About You Anyless” cover the page.

Russian, Irish, Spanish and French influences can be heard among a number of the pieces. Their songs are lead mostly by stringed instruments; however, every now and then the listener may be surprised by the odd sound of a triangle or a tambourine. Other symphonic sounds are incorporated as well, making for an interesting mix between old and new generations. Pauses are sprinkled intermittently throughout the melody, allowing the listener time to digest the piece in full.

When I was young, my music teacher asked the students to close their eyes, listen to the sounds and picture a scene. What was happening in the song? What was the story? I am confronted by these very same questions each time I hear Hungry Ghosts’ tentative and winding melodies. One can hardly resist the urge, these symphonic blends are a tribute to the millennium.

*If you’re interested in giving Hungry Ghosts a try, I recommed listening to“I Dont Think about You Anymore, but I Don’t Think About You Anyless”

*Information courtesy of last.fm