Dialup Ghost are Russ and Jordan, plus occasional help from others.
In their own words, “they’re a bunch of dorks making rock’n’roll.” Though it’s definitely more of the lo-fi, synths and guitars in your bedroom kind of rock’n’roll than the Chuck Berry kind of rock’n’roll.
Dialup Ghost are from Music City U.S.A, or Nashville, if you prefer real names. The capital city of Tennessee, Nashville is home to nearly 700,000 people, making it the 24th most populous city in the USA. Nashville is named after Francis Nash, a hero of the American Revolutionary War, and initially grew due to its convenient location on the Cumberland River. In more recent years Nashville has become most famous as the, “home of country music”, although in reality it’s healthcare, and private prisons, that are causing the city to go through something of an economic boom. Although synonymous with a very specific kind of country, Nashville also has a thriving alternative music scene, and has given the world the likes of Be Your Own Pet, Lambchop and of course, Kings Of Leon.
Dialup Ghost formed in 2017, and released their debut EP in March this year.
There’s something delightfully uncomplicated about Dialup Ghost. They eschew social media for the most part, their website looks like it was designed on the first computer we ever used in our primary school aged about 10, and their debut EP is less lo-fi and more no-fi-at-all. It’s all a million miles away from playing the music industry game, and all the better for it.
Lyrically too, this isn’t trying to be big or clever, it’s just heartwrenchingly, brutally honest. On the opening track Horseshit, they’re pretty much pleading for any sort of closure as they sing, “you’re stuck in my head , I can’t seem to tune you out, I guess I don’t know how”, while by the time the closing track, I’m Fine, I’m Fine roles around they’re, well in exactly the same place they started, “you send me messages and ask if I’m okay, I’m reluctant to reply, but then I finally say ‘I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. You’re always on my mind, but I’m fine.” Much of the record seems to exist in the modern life of the online junky, from the opening line of If You Want To Die, “take a selfie and put it online, It will get about 44 likes (enough to validate living your life)” through to Hell’s dissection of staying in doors for the anxiety of fear and opening yourself up to any more pain. It’s not subtle in its anguish, it’s just brutally, unrelentingly sad.
Musically, there’s a variety of touchstones from the catalogue of fuzzy-bedroom experimenters. Sometimes there’s a bit of wall-of-sound 60’s pop feel, at others they are closer to deliberately noisily recorded acts like No Age or early Best Coast. All of it sounds wonderfully unfussy, the songs left beneath layers of distortion, yet when peeled back you’ll find they’re pop-gems.
For many, Dialup Ghost’s music will be too lo-fi, too fuzzy, too melancholic – for those who love Elvis Depressedly, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone or CHUCK, you might just have found your new favourite band.
Dialup Ghost’s debut EP is out now. Click HERE for more information on Dialup Ghost