Spacecadet Lullabies, a one-man (Matt Lewin) electronica act from Melbourne, recently dropped their second album Ghost Songs. Before picking up this new LP, I’d never heard of the act, so in unearthing this LP I had no idea what to expect, nor just how much credence both the album and the band title would play into the greater themes of what was to follow.
The slightly unsettling nature of opening track, "Ghost Song", is cleverly compounded by it’s length – coming in at a little over eight minutes, it manages to hint at several slightly unhinged emotions, all the more abstract from its relaxed minimalism. In all honestly, I couldn’t stop thinking of the film '2001: A Space Odyssey'. A big call? Perhaps, and I’m certainly not saying that it’s as untouchable as Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, but there are central themes that run parallel here that are hard to ignore.
From here on out things only get more interesting. "Green Drop" sounds like a childish robot in the throes of a tantrum, and "Dalat" utilises an intricate range of Asian influenced instrumentals, while "Happy Land" is just that, a Super Nintendo variety of manufactured joy: slightly robotic, and wildly nostalgic.
The sum of Ghost Songs' individual parts is an album that, while thematically and instrumentally varied from track to track, lives and breathes to its own unique pulse. While the subjects of the individual tracks are entirely ambiguous, the common denominator that binds them is clear as day; Lewin’s influence as both producer and, more importantly, a writer, is as unmistakable as his self-control and his passion. Ghost Songs unravels as an off-kilter mechanical entity that flourishes (and is juxtaposed) by the warmth that only human touch can bring.
Ultimately, Ghost Songs is a pleasingly eclectic album that, for all its variety, is incredibly easy (and often fun) to consume.
Key tracks: "Ghost Song", "Tali Meets Mr Ricketts".
Review score: 7/10