Home Read Albums Of The Week: Ghostkeeper | Multidimensional Culture

Albums Of The Week: Ghostkeeper | Multidimensional Culture

The Calgary art-rockers' exhilaratingly creative and sonically expansive album has something to offer freak-folk fans, goth girls, Deadheads — and everyone between.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “ ‘Let these bodies know / that they exist for one another,’ beckons Shane Ghostkeeper above an angularly shifting progression. ‘This is a reckoning of truth and perception / a smooth redemption’. Each phrase is echoed by a response from a ghostly choir, which blurs the line between the spirit world and the world of flesh and bone. These are the opening lines from Calgary based art-rock band Ghostkeeper’s latest offering Multidimensional Culture, an album which contains no shortage of dimensions, both sonically and spiritually.

The duo (originally from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement in Alberta) met in their early 20s, and began artistically collaborating soon after. Sarah, already a visual artist and musician, was integral to determining the imagery for the project from early on. She utilized her talents to design their album artwork, T-shirts, and masks, while Shane, who had only recently embarked on his musical journey, began laying the groundwork for what would become their shared musical voice. Once their vision for the project had presented itself, the duo’s trajectory and purpose became clear.

Photo by Heatger Saitz.

Their early recordings were released through Calgary record labels Saved By Vinyl and Flemish Eye (home to acclaimed artists Chad Vangaalen, Yves Jarvis and Preoccupations). The band have long collaborated with Calgary heavy-hitter musicians Ryan Bourne and Eric Hamelin, who are integral in forging the melodic complexity of the bands’ sonically expansive catalog. Multidimensional Culture is at once unpredictable and easily digestible.

The album blends the avant-garde instincts of Ghostkeeper‘s previous releases with a newfound peacefulness that has presented itself since the couple became parents. Thematically, Multidimensional Culture tackles many of life’s big questions, from the fragility of human existence, to the innocence of love. Even the pain of their ancestral discrimination is approached with a tenderness and understanding that only a narrator with true empathy and wisdom could provide. The sonic range of this record traverses a wide spectrum of influences, including African psychedelia, traditional Metis music, ’70s freak-folk traditions, and proto-punk guitar bands like Television. All of these influences blend seamlessly into a sound that is unique, yet familiar.

Each song holds its own weight as a pillar to which the greater sonic structure rests upon. Each story has been lived, and there is a penetrating honesty in both Shane and Sarah’s delivery that is palpable. Ghostkeeper channel the spirit world in all of its pain, beauty and wonderment, and gift it to anyone willing to accept.”