Lead singer/guitarist Will Sartain immediately went to work on his next solo album, For Love, Tommy Nguyen picked up bass for The Red Bennies and drummer Cathy Foy went to Bluebird Radio for a spell before releasing her 2010 solo album, We Build It Tall. The occasional FOTG performance would happen here and there, but for the most part, it was public assumption that the band was done creating new material.
Well, you know what they say about assumptions. The Future of the Ghost is back and ready to release their second proper album, A Blessing for Your Heart.
Originally formed in 2006 by Sartain and Foy after their respective longtime bands broke up, the two created the group over a cup of coffee, with the desire to perform with people they really liked. They released the wildly popular Freak Out in 2007 and followed it up with the 2008 EP For the Future, touring occasionally with an ever-rotating who’s-who lineup of Utah musicians. But at the height of their demand and popularity in the music scene, they split to work on other projects.
“The foundation of the band has always been about forward movement and perseverance,” Foy says of the band’s progression the past five years. “We have been able to stay together through the highs and also the low periods of the band. Will and I have been playing in Salt Lake for such a long time that we have a lot of patience when it comes to seeing the creative process through."
In mid-2010, the band started playing select shows again, picking up Maht Paulus from Mathematics Et Cetera on bass and Andrew Sato from Palace of Buddies on keyboard. Through those performances, the group excitedly found a new sound, totally different from their prior releases, and headed back into the studio to write and record a brand new album.
As opposed to prior efforts where the singing and songwriting was primarily handled by Sartain, Paulus contributed to many tracks on both fronts, including taking some lead vocals, and Foy also added her own vocals to several tracks. Along with Sato adding some unexpected surprises from his keyboard throughout the recording process, the sessions turned into a collaborative effort between the four. The group tapped Jud Powell to record the album, starting work in early November and finishing late December.
When asked to compare their prior work to the new material, Sartain says, “We were all a lot younger. I was 22 when we started, Cathy was 23 or 24. I feel like we have matured a lot. We had a lot of fun. We still have fun, but I think we are more serious now. I think Cathy and I have had life experiences that have changed us a lot.”
That maturity and experience shine through on the band’s second full-length album, A Blessing for Your Heart. Finding a sweet spot between their earlier angry rock and later solo acoustic works, the group put together what could rightfully be considered a classic alternative album. “If You Know How To Love” and “This Is Confusion” may have shades from their prior ventures, with speedy drums and wiry guitars, but they are complemented by songs like “Get It” and “Love Is Like a Matador,” which highlight their new willingness to play with their own song structures. The balance of hooky lyrics and simplified compositions make the album easy to digest for first-time listeners, but it has enough shades of old incarnations to bring back longtime fans and hook them onto the new sound.
When asked about his overall thoughts on the new lineup and the album, Sartain says, “It has been great. A breath of fresh air. Everything is flowing really well. Everyone is super laid back and interested in collaborating. This is the most exciting band chemistry I have ever had.”%uFFFD
|THE FUTURE OF THE GHOST CD RELEASE PARTIES|
w/ The Spins, SLFM
741 S. Kilby Court (330 West)
Saturday, March 26, 7 p.m.
w/Birthquake, Palace of Buddies
The Urban Lounge
241 S. 500 East
Saturday, March 26, 9 p.m.