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Ghosts on Tape


Artist: Blood Red Shoes
Label: Velveteen Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 January 2022

Blood Red Shoes release their sixth album, Ghosts on Tape, via Velveteen Records. Written and recorded before their most recent EP, Ghosts on Tape is a huge jump into new terrain for the band. Musically and emotionally it is a complex, imaginative, and very gothic development on their sound. Musically, it leaves almost no trace of their former selves...

It could be because of the band's shift in sound. It could be that the restrictions imposed during Covid 19 reinvigorated the duo. But whatever it is Ghosts on Tape feels like a band that's fresh, eager and still very much in love with what they do.

As track after track rumbles by, it's interesting to note how diverse and unexpected each track is. But what bonds all the songs together is how layered and beautifully produced they are. Across these 13 songs (38 min, 17 sec) we get an intimate peek into the lives of artists Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell.

"We’ve always been outsiders right from the very beginning," says Ansell. "This album is really about us asserting ourselves as our own little island. We have made an entire career out of being told what we are 'not', of being rejected, of not fitting in, and this album is us deliberately pushing into all of our strangeness, emphasising all of the things that make us different".

Obsessed by true crime and murder podcasts, many songs on the record are told in character and explore the dark psyche of those at the pinnacle of outsiderdom: serial killers.

I couldn't help wondering if the guitar riff in 'Begging' was a nod and a wink to Neal Hefti groovy theme tune to the '60s Batman TV series. I also loved the album's sweet closing track 'Four Two Seven', which slows everything down.

Considering how bleak the subject matter is, the end result is an engaging, uplifting album that is hard to resist.


Nick Smithson

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