Photography by Teri Roberts

Cape Town duo Lo-ghost could not have chosen a better title for their album, ‘Cult Pop’

With a sound that’s classically reminiscent of 70s rock band, Queen and equally evocative of 2010s pop rock band, F.U.N, it’s difficult to think that Lo-ghost doesn’t have a future in the music space. Their note-perfect lyricism and karaoke-ready anthems make them, not only relevant but generational. Trying to quantify their genre has proven difficult. The alternative electro pop rock duo is comprised of Shannon Devy and Evan Strauss. Brazen and striking, the vocals of Shannon and the instrumental accompaniment of Evan make their sound full-bodied, rich with astringency and impossible to forget. If you haven’t already listened to Lo-ghost, you definitely should. 

‘Cult Pop’ is the title of their latest musical offering set to drop on the 15th of November 2019. It’ll not only leave you impressed but it will take you on a journey – one that’s almost psychedelic, head bopping and wishing you knew the lyrics to sing along right on the spot. My favourite song so far is, unarguably, You Fell Out of Dancing which touches on love lost, “leaning against the bar in the dark”. The theme of the song is as relentlessly desolate and harrowing as the subject matter and it’s overt that their ability to match their lyrics with the sonic cadence of their songs is one that is unmatched. Their lyrics build a setting –  a time,  a place, an event – and the conception is usually laid on a steady, naked beat which is then followed by a flood of sound carrying the next part of the ‘story’ – occurences, dispositions and an ending which, in keeping with the way that life itself goes, isn’t always a a happy one. The follow-up song, Projection is reflective of their lush, dark alt pop sound, chanting the lyrics “There’s something amiss in the abyss tonight” and bringing the vocal atonement of Evan in a synthesized, robotic effect.

Artwork by Rouleaux van der Merwe

Lo-ghost began sharing their music in 2016 with debut EP, Mother, which featured, what I consider to be a classic, Night Flowers repeating the lyrics, “There’s blood in my body and it sounds like this,” which also happens to be the title of their follow up project. Consistent with the theme of darkness, desolation and reparative expression through chant and powerful exclamation (which actually produces the ‘cult-like’ sound they’ve now taken on as their brand), Lo-ghost’s message is simple: we are all going to be ghosts one day and that is something to be explored and some of us already ghosts to the people from our past life – something to be hurt about but accepted. If you consider having a listening session of their previous work, be sure to listen to Lover, a fun, soft pop dance track of a world-class standard, as with the rest of their discography. It’s one of the more upbeat and romantic songs in their discography and is sure to have to swaying and singing along differently compared to the rest of their music.

To become part of the “Cult Pop” wave is a decision worth making – delivering a sound that is futuristic in its techno, alternative elements yet retaining the freshness of classic rock. Ideal as the soundtrack to either a break up or a breakthrough, Lo-ghost has carefully mastered, the way to create a sound that can span generations in their most recent album. Delivering powerful performances at Cape Town hotspots like Café Roux, they’ve proven to be just as impactful on a live stage as they are when blaring through your headphones, if not more so. Since their inception in 2016, they’ve garnered a fanbase that is as consistent as they are with their sound. If their latest singles are anything to go by, listeners new and old, are in for a treat on Friday, November 15th.

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