Single: Ghost Fan Club – Now and Then

It’s a pleasure to return to Tyler Costolo’s sun-dappled, long-shadowed, introspective world and the second single of their latest Ghost Fan Club offering. Now and Then is a real beauty. I love the breath and pause before the song takes its first steps- you can hear the small room breathing- the song holding its breath before the plunge. Many of us I’m sure have sat in a shit-hole pub staring at the smoke-stained patina of a cracking mirror and wondered who was staring back at them. This can’t possibly be me… what the fuck have I done with my life? I certainly have.  That’s the first image the song provides- setting the scene for the slow-paced existential dread that follows. The song takes its time, it grapples with its own lethargy, the drum work subtle and languid, adding to the hypnotic, narcotic atmosphere. It’s superb. 

There are, as ever, opposing forces at play here: the soft and mellow lilt of those auriferous guitars dance and shimmer with a warmth and soft humidity; those vocals though speak of darker days- shifting between a sleepy, cracked whisper that feels almost devoid of hope at times and a more yearning yelp in the repeated chorus. There is a trance-like quality to these moments- as if the chorus/coda is acting as some repeated call to continue despite the weight and burden of everything, despite not knowing if they’ll make it that far. 

It’s a potent and emotive concoction which manages to manifest as something more than its constituent parts. A song that needs no frills. A song whose impact is felt clearly. That’s not something that can be planned – that just happens on those rare occasions when everything aligns. Ghost Fan Club has managed to capture that magic here, and when he sings ,”I’m tired of hearing it will get better,” I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone live a lyric so entirely in that moment. 

Written by M.A Welsh (Misophone)

Music | Misophone (