REVIEW: Rural Ghosts’ self-titled EP

Photobucket A recording that sounds like it was done one weekend in a bedroom, kitchen or garage, pressed up on some Taiyo Yuden CD-R’s (the preferred CD-R for CD-R collectors, traders, and archivists), made with hand-numbered, “100% hand-cut & hand-painted archival-quality heavy card-stock packaging” and and sold on Etsy? It sounds homemade because it is, and the music and lyrics sound and feels like home, what you sometimes wish to hear and when you arrive, you’re comforted by the sound.

That’s what Rural Ghosts represents on his seld-released EP (on his own custom label, Lorem Ipsum) and at a time when we have the convenience of digital distribution, I know I still make an effort to hear people who make, create, and package music with some level of effort, and this is no exception. Rural Ghosts is a Portland, Maine resident named Erik Neilson, and for the six songs on this EP, all he does is pick up a guitar, play and sing, and deliver some heartfelt songs. He talks about life and the work involved to keep head above water, but also telling tales of feeling love or wanting to offer care to a loved one. A word like “introspective” could be used, but I think it has been used by a lot of recordings like this, whether it’s by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco or even the occasionally-twisted tales of Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips. It’s not so “in-my-head-forever” like Jandek‘s stuff, there is a sense of the outside world in each of these songs, especially when you hear the sound of thunder and rainfall. A metaphor, perhaps? The world is essentially his audience, and now he just has to find the people in that world to stay with him for his musical journey. I would like to be considered “one”.

As simple, comforting, and humble as these six songs sound, I could easily hear him stretch out these songs with not only a small group of fellow musicians, but even to bring in the Portland Cello Project or even a full orchestra, to be able to fit into that basement, garage, or back porch-vibe he has created on this and to show how wide and diverse that porch can be if you simply let people in for the excursion.

(ADDITION: I did a quick Google search and noticed a post from Nielsen, as he looks to bring in a few more people for what he calls “dark folk-indie”, so I look forward to seeing and hearing the next path in the journey of Rural Ghosts.)

(You can purchase Rural Ghosts’s self-titled EP at

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Rural Ghosts’ self-titled EP

  1. Pingback: BEST OF 2012: Favorite EP’s Of The Year | This Is Book's Music

  2. Good pick here- I’ve seen them live- they rock. Think space-vibe gutar tracks, chorus of cellos playing lead riffs and baselines and active progressive drums fills, oh, and deeply felt folk-on-acid vocals…and u have Rural Ghosts.


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