I, the Ghost Breaks New Ground with "Daybreak" EP

With a nod to post-punk influence, I, the Ghost shows a divergence from their norm in their new EP “Daybreak.” It’s a branching away from their indie roots, but one that brings about a better way to look at the many emotions and tribulations surrounding love that they tackle in these five songs. 

The title track sets up the EP with bellicose instrumentation and despondent lyrics. It looks at a couple that is seemingly at a complacent spot, not actually content anymore but not changing or growing. 

The next song, "Anchor - Line," is the most mythological, an extended metaphor on the Greek legend of the sirens, seductresses who lured sailors with their enchanting song to their death. “Their love is a fork tongued lie,” they sing, and they caution the listener to “keep to the boat” over and over towards the end with a torrential instrumentation backing the desperate advice that arrived perhaps too late. 

The same despair in “Daybreak” is echoed in the third song, “Lament.” A life fueled by hate is acknowledged, and he can understand why his love didn’t work out. However, this track brings about a hope that crescendoes along with the music. He realizes that his lost love is the greatest thing about his life, screaming “I’m sorry” before an incredibly heartfelt plea. The vulnerability of Gathright’s screams of “It’s a hell of a thing to love someone” at the end of the track are chilling.

“Give Up” is a ballad that takes a glimpse into a marriage turned sour. For the man, “There’s pain in the words you say/Turned to poison in my veins,” a powerful image in itself before he sings about wedding china broken, the chaos not affecting the pair too much. It reverses the progress made in the previous track, a sad look at how even the will to preserve the best things in our life is much easier said than done. 

The seamless transition into “Give In” is indicative of the ultimate message. The man doesn’t want apologies or for his love to give up, repeating “I don’t want to give up/I don’t want to give in.” The whirlwind of suffering love has come full circle in the song; he just wanted to know that she cared, too. Then can the two start working on rebuilding their relationship on a solid foundation. 

The emo, punk lean that this EP took paid off tremendously. First, it’s reminiscent of the post-punk hits that many listeners found themselves enjoying in high school—full of despair yet having you sway and dance along to the heavy-hitting guitars and piercing percussion. It’s a different I, the Ghost than you might be used to, but it absolutely worked for the tormented, relentless message that played out in these five tracks. “Daybreak” as a whole proves that they can tell a story, whether that be based on mythology, ode-like, or just an introspective look into something that affects most at some point in their lives. A journey is made in this short release, and it will affect you, and show you an I, the Ghost you should come to know. 

Photo by Tiffany Youngblood

Album Cover design by Michael J. Slack
Header image design by Brittany Keeton