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TERMINAL BEACH Ghost Lotteries gets 8.5/10


Terminal Beach

Ghost Lotteries
Independent

8.5/10

Terminal Beach’s debut album Ghost Lotteries is a glorious ray of sunshine, full of texture, energy, and a clever mix of both upbeat and swirling, down-tempo tracks. Ghost Lotteries is a hard style to categorise, it infuses elements of blues, alt-country, indie, ambient, with a dash of classical elements. The range in styles and the technical prowess showcases what a talented group of musicians they are.

Lead singer, Rohin Hawksley, has a voice of sand and glue, which at times is reminiscent of Tom Waits. It is often accompanied by the effortless country-esque vocals of Clare James, whose harmonies make the album feel full of optimism and reflective bliss.

The album starts off like a shotgun with toe-tapping banger, Good Morning. A Set of Names follows and showcases some eddying guitarwork, but just when you feel it is going to go into guitar jam territory it reigns it in and ends tenderly and poignantly. The album then takes a much slower pace with string solos and spacious electro, with the guitar and drums taking a back seat.

Vessels is a standout track and shows the bands more ambient and experimental side. The album nears the end with the operatic Ghost Lotteries, which builds beautifully and is incredibly moving, it then then closes with Yellow Bellied Black Snake, which is a capacious, vocal led track that at times is harrowing.

It’s a detailed album that also feels unforced and raw, this is in part thanks to Hawksley’s lyrical work, which is candid, incisive, and deft. With lyrical wit such as “the whales are having a whale of a time” and “death is a poor man’s doctor” adding something more to love for those who gravitate towards the prose in songs.

Hawksley’s guttural vocals also ensure the album, despite its use of loops, space, layers, and an array of instruments, still has the vivacity and instinct we have come to love from blues and country music. Much like the music swaying from guitar led blues to ambient electro and strings, Hawksley’s vocals have impressive range, adding lovely shape and definition to the album.

There is the perfect amount of space left between phrases to make sure things are not over complicated, but there is enough technical artistry to ensure the music quietly reorders your brain. The result is a beautiful piece of work which you can get lost in and will also translate well on stage – this is by design, given it was recorded live.

When music from a little city like Perth starts to become enmeshed, and derivative musical trends reign supreme, it is refreshing to hear music that is forging its own path and following no one, and the result is something that is both utterly unique and authentic.

LARA FOX

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