First/Last-Exit Ghost

August 20, 2013

“Exit Ghost is a collaborative vehicle structured around the songwriting of Evan Holmes. The group’s debut Pony Soldier EP (2010) explores a vital reverence for the imagery and culture of the American West, with fiddle and harmonies provided by tireless multi-instrumentalist Rachel Kahn. Hailed by Performer Magazine as “like [Neil Young’s] After The Goldrush on steroids”, brothers Jordan and Julian Stacey provide a powerful rhythm section that resonates soundly through the group’s first full-length album, 2012’s Move Alone; a bold, at times orchestral effort engineered by Mike Hagler of Wilco’s Summerteeth. With a nod from Paste Magazine as one of “10 Illinois Bands You Should Listen To Now”, Exit Ghost entered recording at Chicago’s Engine Studios with the addition of avant-garde guitarist Michael Golas and engineer/instrumentalist Dorian Gehring. Engine EP documents a band reinventing itself in the space of a studio, and would see the group’s first commercial placement in the HBO series Single Long. Exit Ghost’s Daytrotter Live Session previews a distinct and cohesive set of new work, to be completed as the band’s second full-length due Fall 2013.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud and Instagram. As I continue my ongoing coverage of the Paste 50 States Project, we step into the lovely state of Illinois with Exit Ghost. The band’s follow up to last years excellent EP, “Engine“, will be released this fall. I want to thank songwriter Evan Holmes (Guitar/Vocals) for taking a few to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • The first album I ever bought with my own money was The Beatles “Abbey Road” when I was 12.
  • Your last album bought?
  • The last album I purchased was The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me”. And I’m so glad it was.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Emmylou Harris’s “Wrecking Ball”, produced by Daniel Lanois. It’s always been on my iPod, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t own the CD. I lost it in college and bought a new one the next day. It’s from 1995, recorded at Lanois’ house in New Orleans, and it’s just the most timeless, ethereal production I’ve ever heard. It was also a totally new sound for Emmylou, which is brave for someone as established as she was at the time.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Neil Young’s “Greendale”. But I didn’t lose faith!
  • First concert attended?
  • Belle and Sebastian at the Congress Theater in Chicago.
  • Last concert?
  • This is actually really funny, I legitimately just saw Belle and Sebastian at Pitchfork after something like 10 years. So same answer! Before that it was Lissie at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • My favorite concert was Sharon Van Etten at Lincoln Hall. Totally perspective-changing as to what live harmonies could be. She and her band just make so much noise for a little 4-piece, and they each do so much heavy-lifting.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Probably Wilco at Riviera Theater. I love Wilco like I love to breathe air, but it was just SO PACKED.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve only been to Pittsburgh once, to visit some friends at Carnegie Mellon. I helped record a song in the conservatory, that was really fun! It’s a beautiful city, and really bikable, which is great!

Thanks, Evan. I second your opinion on Sharon and her band. What a beautiful concert experience that was.