Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 24 July 2014 12:50

Album review: Comet Gain burns plaintively on 'Paperback Ghosts'

Album review: Comet Gain burns plaintively on 'Paperback Ghosts'
Written by Alex Cunningham
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Comet Gain
"Paperback Ghosts"
Fortuna POP!

Forgoing the garage stomp of past efforts "Howl of the Lonely Crowd" and "Réalistes," Comet Gain embraces introspective folk and indie pop on its seventh LP, "Paperback Ghosts."

"Paperback Ghosts" opens with the soft strum of "Long After Tonite's Candles Are Blown," a melancholic yet hopeful ode to living life under the shadow of death's finality. Featuring the chorus, "We are holding onto life because heaven is a lie," lyricist David Bower strays far from the commonplace naivety of twee pop.

"Paperback Ghosts" reaps the benefits of this thematic shift and newfound perspective. Within simplistic indie-pop song structures hide lyrics concerning loss, longing and a lifetime's worth of regret. While tracks like "Behind the House She Lived In" and "'Sad Love' And Other Stories" contain moments of genuine nostalgia, this underlying sadness pervades the majority of the album. Comet Gain manages to approach desolation and heartbreak with a bittersweet optimism, averting self-indulgent wallowing and overwrought melodrama.

More than 20 years into its career, Comet Gain maintains its ability to excite and surprise. "An Orchid Stuck Inside Her Throat" establishes itself as the most affecting moment in the Comet Gain catalogue; no small task alongside two decades worth of heart-on-sleeve songwriting. Pairing the hardships of a nameless protagonist with a gliding waltz, "Orchid" illustrates both Bower's prowess as a storyteller and Comet Gain's overlooked musicianship. After the final strains of "Orchid" fade to a close, the listener is abruptly met with the clumsy guitar chords of "Confessions of a Daydream." Evoking the sound of Comet Gain's salad days, "Daydream" is a natural conclusion to an album of blurry-eyed glimpses into the past.

"Paperback Ghosts" is a remarkable album from a veteran act, treading familiar territory without sounding tired, exploring despair without feeling bleak and approaching its subject matter with unmatched sincerity. Having outlived the breadth of its counterparts, Comet Gain continues to impress in its second decade.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-crowd.jpg

KDHX Recommends

April
Friday
03

New Music Circle presents On Fillmore with Glen Kotche and Darin Gray

On Fillmore is the multi-instrumental duo of bassist Darin Gray (Edwardsville/St. Louis) and percussionist Glenn Kotche (Chicago). They've been dubbed “the rhythm section’s revenge” by Jim O’Rourke, when...


April
Saturday
04

Brunch at the Stage: Riverside Wanderers

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


April
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Genevieve

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


Online Users

2 users and 9574 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook