Previously Performed in: 2017, 2010
(Calgary, AB) Blues, Indie, Pop
Even if you've heard Ghostkeeper before, you haven't heard Ghostkeeper before. The Calgary quartet, with its consistent core of Shane Ghostkeeper and Sarah Houle plus current collaborators Eric Hamelin and Ryan Bourne, has almost completely reinvented itself in the four years since their last full-length outing. After three albums rooted in folk (albeit twisted and warped by Ghostkeeper's delirious fretwork), the band has re-emerged draped in psychedelic synths and ramshackle electronics. It's a testament to Houle and Ghostkeeper's distinctive voices that they're recognizable at all.
The band's sound has been defined by restlessness from the beginning. Houle and Ghostkeeper never held much truck with songwriting convention, preferring to pack their compositions with winding melodies and jarring transitions that kept listeners perpetually off-balance. It makes sense that their dedication to musical invention would translate to a flair for reinvention, too. The fruit of that reinvention, Sheer Blouse Buffalo Knocks, is nothing if not ambitious. A concept album set in the songwriting duo's home territory of the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, it blurs the borders between dystopian sci-fi, indigenous legend and contemporary political protest even as it shatters the barriers between synth-pop, psych-rock and avant-garde noise. It doesn't sound like anything you've heard before—and it couldn't have been made by anyone else.