Hail The Ghost are an unsigned band from Ireland, who have just released their debut single entitled ‘Headstoned’, which features additional vocals from Deaf Joe. Singer/songwriter Kieran O’Reilly has previously worked on Irish TV Programme Love/Hate, in which he plays Detective Garda Ciaran Madden. The band is made up of O’Reilly (Vocals/Drums/Guitar), Eamonn Young (Guitars), and Ian Corr (Piano/Keys).
‘Headstoned’ is an outstanding debut, with a great brooding atmosphere and some of the most cleverly-written lyrics I’ve heard in a long time. It starts off with a terrifically melancholic piano introduction that’s reminiscent of minimalist composers like Philip Glass (Truman Show, anyone?), which sets up a really beautiful accompaniment that lasts for pretty much the entire song. It’s repetitive, but not in a bad way, and blends in with the rest of the music perfectly.
The vocals are, in a word, spectacular. O’Reilly has a gentle voice full of emotion, but still has a cool granular edge to his singing. There’s nothing weak about it, and he has an excellent command over dynamics – which is something that singers can often fail to pay attention to. Actually, the subtle dynamic changes which occur as the song progresses are part of the reason why I believe the song is so great. Also, the harmonies are haunting which increases the already high emotional level of the song.
Guitar is not over-used in the song, which is absolutely fantastic because it doesn’t take away from the graceful piano and ominous vocals. Saying that, the guitar is probably one of my favourite things about the song – it comes in right when it needs to, and has a gorgeous echo effect which fits in flawlessly with the rest of the song.
‘Headstoned’ is available to download now, and the band’s debut album ‘Forsaken’ will be released on March 6th 2015.