Debut albums are a tricky business; bringing individuality to an already saturated music market can be daunting and highly risky. Luckily for Parisian quintet Team Ghost, their sound has been a work in progress since there founding in 2009, by veteran and ex-M83 member, Nicolas Fromageau. With two EPs under their belt, ‘I Never Did Anything Wrong To You’ and ‘Celebrate What You Can’t See’, Team Ghost have tested the water and begun to make their mark. Therefore, with the release of debut album ‘Rituals’ – have they brought something niche to a distinctly mass market?
Fans of M83 will be surprised to find that the first thing to seep into their consciousness is the much darker nature to this venture, with haunting and almost gothic synth textures. Tracks like the slow-burning opener ‘Away’ and the eerie ‘All We Left Behind’, immerse you in beautiful synths and drifting vocals, while first single ‘Dead Film Star’ cranks up the indie-pop with bursts of intrusive guitar riffs, that really show the variety throughout this record. The difficulty is pin-pointing individual tracks that stand out, as the whole album is simply outstanding. However, ‘Somebody’s Watching’ really pushes the boundaries of comfortable listening by mixing overtly sexual and voyeuristic themes to great effect – leaving a dirty, yet pleasurable taste in the mouth. Also, ‘Pleasure That Hurts’ is a splendid juxtaposition of indie rock and electronic, in which Team Ghost appear to have enlisted Soundwave from Transformers to assist with the hypnotically robotic vocals.
There are not enough positive adjectives to do this album justice. With meticulous production throughout and an overall style that will leave you wanting to hit ‘Repeat’, ‘Rituals’ imposes a sound and strength that is very rarely heard nowadays, but sorely needed. If Team Ghost receives the recognition they deserve for this monumental effort and continue to the same standard, their future will be well and truly secure.