Out now on Yer Bird Records, Ghosts I’ve Met’s From A Spark is a beautiful, poignant debut album that finds singer-songwriter Sam Watts at the peak of his talent. The debut LP, which features guests such as Jenna Conrad (Damien Jurardo), Anne Marie Ruljancich (The Shins), and Ben Blankenship (Modest Mouse), unfurls slowly in a wash of deeply-textured atmospheres that pull the listener deep into intimate reflection. The effect is instant and striking, unfurling as it does like a rainy day with nothing but the view, some tea, and silence for company.
As in previous work from Ghosts I’ve Met, the arrangements are spacious and simple. There’s piano and gentle acoustic guitar, and the occasional manipulation of vocal harmony, but it’s fair to say that the real star here is Sam’s determined, lamenting vocal, which strikes out from a territory that could easily be called self-pity into the greater unknown of self-reliance. As the folks at Yer Bird put it, these are “…folk songs that tell a story of [a] man finding his place in the world.” And indeed, there is a strength in these songs that is both restorative and soothing, even when it comes from a place of loss.
All in all, this is an absolute triumph of a debut LP, and well worth checking out. You can hear the first track – “Blackwoods” – below, and you can find out more at Yer Bird (or buy it here). And if you’d like to hear even more, check out Ghosts I’ve Met’s recent visit to KEXP, which M. Khazak calls “an intimate live set of absolutely beautiful indie folk music.” You’ll be glad you did.