Ghosts of our Former Selves – Night Church | Funk/Nostalgia
Ghosts of our Former Selves (GOOFS) just released their new album, “Night Church” and let me tell you it is a revelation! The funky, groovy, fast-paced album literally made my day! Ghosts Of Our Former Selves are singer Theo Brehony, guitarist Sanderson Rocha and producer Fred Ala. They are from London, São Paulo, Glasgow and Tehran. This is their second album and the second release of 2021.
The band’s love of soul and funk can be heard on the new album, as well as their interest with synth sounds and songwriting from the 1970s and early 1980s. They also mention that this album has taken 4 years to release and signifies a lot of the emotions of their life, including deaths of fathers and birth of children.
“Night Church” started out as an album about the breakup of a relationship but turned into a record about redemption, love and starting again, encompassing all the life experienced in between. There are songs about online dating, Brexit, Glastonbury, the weirdness of Dubai, lockdown, couples therapy and living like it’s your last day. The album has almost a 50-minute run-time with 12 songs.
The first song, “Sea of People” really sets the tone for the entire album. It is a percussive and fast-paced song with some beautiful piano accompaniment. This is my personal favorite and will get you dancing and grooving immediately. “Sea of People” left me craving to be dancing in a crowd of people, but too bad we’re stuck home with COVID. Another one of my favorites is the song, “Kingdoms”. Listening to this song, takes me back to watching an actor having an epiphany, center- stage and under the spotlight. “Kingdoms” needs to be used in a musical, otherwise I’m throwing hands.
The songs “Outsiders” and “Close to the Sun” have a more melancholic emotion attached to them. “Outsiders” has a very distinct 80s funk-rock vibe and really pushes the bar. “Close to the Sun” has a more melancholic, blues-funk vibe that is characterized by some very strong vocals. The song revolves around an Icarus metaphor without letting you feel discouraged about failure. Going off of taking risks and making mistakes, “The Island” starts off sounding like (Escape) the Piña colada song. Just when you think there is something familiar about the song – the vocals segue in with the percussion and the piano, taking you on a different trip altogether.
The album does a great job of juxtaposing different emotions and takes you on a sort of introspective trip down memory lane. The gospel/soul harmonies of the album really set it apart and facilitate a different experience. The choral riffs and harmonies really provide you a safe space to get lost within the music – almost like the transcendental feeling of praise and worship. The songs “Night Church”, “The numbers”, “Now we’re talking”, “Life’s what you make it” and “Pictures in my head” are rooted in personal experiences and nostalgia – of old VHS tapes and of 70s and 80s music that has defined a whole generation.
Two of my other favorites, Beautiful World and Golden, managed to invoke almost the same emotions in me. Beautiful World begins with the most spiritual, pipe/synth piano riffs that will give churches a run for their money. Golden is a song that manages to pick a spot in your heart and nest there. Golden ends the album on a high but sentimental note. The song reminds me of all the Father-daughter dances I’ve witnessed at weddings. Next time your parents complain that people don’t make music like they used to, remember to slip Golden into a playlist with Billy Joel, Elton John, John Denver and The Bellamy Brothers, and watch them reminisce their glory days.
Ghosts of our Former Selves, have really hit the sweet spot of nostalgia, gospel music and funk with this album. Individually, Brehony, Rocha and Ala have illustrious careers, but as a band I feel like this is only the beginning of some great music from the trio. If I was you, I’d get on the Ghosts of our Former Selves hype-train now!
Go Stream Night Church for a truly spiritual experience: