Fall into the spectre of autumn with Comet Gain’s “Paperback Ghosts”

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With Comet Gain’s seventh album, “Paperback Ghosts,” the British indie pop band stays true to its soaring folk and soul melodies with honest, straightforward lyrics.
The band’s instant resemblance to The Replacements, Velvet Underground and Big Star is striking, but Comet Gain easily pulls away from those distinctions while keeping its own fire alive.
The album was inspired by the changes of autumn through walks around North London woods. The album is also about ghosts, the band says; the gauzy, haunting spectres of past loves.
The easygoing “Long After Tonite’s Candles Are Blown” sets the tone for “Paperback Ghosts,” with David Charlie Feck praising the wonderful things in life, although he soon segues into the realization that “heaven is a lie.”
His youthful vocals are delicate and pleading but also show a vivid level of sadness. Lines like “My map of the universe is your haunted heart” is the band’s personal style of rock poetry.
By the time you hear “Wait ‘til December,” with its soft, country touch and frosty edge conveyed by Rachel Evans’ gentle vocals, you’re blissfully aware that time moves more slowly here.
The gorgeous melody of the homegrown and organic “Sad Love And Other Short Stories” plays with emotional heartstrings that add a gentle drama. “The Last Love Letter” nurtures a pretty duet and heartfelt harmonies, and “Behind the House She Lived In” hearkens memories of childhood and first love.
The upbeat “Breaking Open the Head Part 1” shows the band’s rebellious punk side, while “All the Avenue Girls” channels the “Fables of the Reconstruction” age of early REM.
With additional influences like the Byrds, the Dexys and French New Wave, Comet Gain deftly combines these softer touches with Riot Grrrl and lo-fi styles, lacing those emotions throughout the album and exposing the gray areas between love and hate.
Paperback Ghosts is out on Fortuna Pop! Records.

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Filed under Folk, Indie, New Music, Review

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