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Graywhale Merch

Karen Elson

Ghost Who Walks

Karen Elson Ghost Who Walks
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On her debut disc, The Ghost Who Walks, Karen Elson spins intriguingly unsettling tales of lost love, dashed hope, romantic betrayal and various crimes of passion witnessed only by the full moon. In a coolly inviting voice, strumming an acoustic guitar, she summons up a dark yet seductive atmosphere, an after-midnight world that's irresistibly alluring. The arrangements for her small band - featuring the virtuosic Jackson Smith on guitar, Elson's longtime collaborator Rachelle Garniez on accordion and vocals, and husband-producer Jack White on drums -- evoke the lonesome side of country (''Cruel Summer'') or the tormented side of the blues (''The Truth Is In the Dirt''), with eerie organ touches, and keening electric guitars. Until now, the British-born Elson has been better known as a top model, the face of ad campaigns for, among others, Armani, Prada, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent's Poison. With her pale white skin and shocking red hair, she seems an almost otherworldly presence on any given glossy page. While she assiduously worked as the face of various brands, she conducted an altogether different life behind the scenes as a singer and songwriter, honing what has proven to be her considerable skills. In part, she learned by doing: for the last five years, she's been a member, alongside Garniez, in the Weimar-style cabaret of New York City-based art and music collective The Citizens Band. Two of her more theatrical tracks, ''100 Years From Now'' and ''Mouths To Feed,'' inspired in part by author Tim Egan's dust bowl saga, The Worst Hard Time, were originally penned for her troupe, which combines bawdy entertainment with barbed political commentary. The Ghost Who Walks may not be drawn literally from Elson's life, but it does represent an aspect of her psyche she's been brave enough to explore: ''I'm very much interested in the dark side of things. In my life, truthfully, I've had a lot of bizarre and dark experiences that have definitely colored the way I think about a lot of personal things. The music I have always listened to as well has had a sorrowful, mournful, if not murderous, quality to it.'' She pauses to laugh. ''I'm not saying I would ever want to kill anybody, but sometimes love can drag you to the very depths of yourself and - my God - make you so desperate and forlorn. I really respond to songs that write about that. Hank Williams, for crying out loud, speaking of being forlorn and forsaken -- there's a song I just heard of his, an early demo, that really resonated with me. Those songs move me in a way that happy go lucky songs don't.'' Tracklist 1 The Ghost Who Walks 3:02 2 The Truth Is In The Dirt 3:57 3 Pretty Babies 3:25 4 Lunasa 3:55 5 100 Years From Now 3:13 6 Stolen Roses 3:07 7 Cruel Summer 3:30 8 Garden 4:21 9 The Birds They Circle 3:14 10 A Thief At My Door 3:46 11 The Last Laugh 3:08 12 Mouths To Feed 3:48
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