I love me a good indie pop gem and I got pretty geeked after hearing the first track from Ghost Bunnies self-titled debut. It reminded me of the first time I heard The Unicorns. Like the Unicorns the music is unpretentious, catchy and it seemed like the band has an endless amount of hooks that they could create out of thin air.
The band’s lineup consists of multi-instrumentalist and primary songwriter Justin Schoenfelder who plays guitar/accordion/mandolin/synth, Adam Riddle is on the drums while Kris Kehn rocks out on the bass. Peter Swikoski adds various percussion and last but not least Nate Hartmann plays the keys. Besides the excellent song writing I also enjoy the fact that all the members in the band sing. It’s mostly Schoenfelder on vocals but the band occasionally chimes in usually as a whole to accent a certain word or phrase. It should be noted that Schoenfelder and Swikoski have both worked on educational children's music and it seems to come across in the music. It’s a combination of the handclaps, Schoenfelder’s warm inviting voice that has a number of childlike qualities, the quirky organ and a number of other things. There’s this innocence to the music when combined with occasional rocking out and an ample amount of talent that creates a very attractive style.
Ghost Bunnies starts with “Walk the Burren.” It’s a four-minute song that is full of enough hooks to make your head spin. The vocals are instantly catchy and the background harmonies are the cherry on top. There's a fair amount of distorted guitar that creates a nice contrast to the cute organ sound. “Telephone Game” puts a little pep in your step while “Ghost; Friend” seems to have the whole band singing which creates a sing-along type of feel. ”Twelve Feet” strays into Tom Waits or Man Man territory. The song sounds like a drunken Russian waltz for teenagers. It’s a nice change of pace and quite catchy as well. The album ends with the fast paced ska inspired “Spring Valley” which has arguably the most dynamic vocal performances on the album.
Overall, this is a superb debut, ten pop songs that are well produced, full of great moments and puts you a good mood.
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