When the deep South produces alt-rock bands, they really do the hell out of it. Roadkill Ghost Choir is no exception to this. Their southern-fried flare gives one the feeling that it’s a little more than okay to wear plaid shirts with pearl snaps for formal occasions. All of you bearded hipsters out there should love it. The fact that this sound originates in central Florida makes it perfect for Portland. The road-weary, bleary-eyed meander of the music conjures visions of a battered traveler who has come from a very far distance and took the long way to get here. Sometimes it can be tempting to dismiss music that seems palatable to a wide audience, but I submit that, in the right context, this doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. There are some obvious comparisons that can be made to Tom Petty and Radiohead, but there is enough Floyd in there to keep you from hanging yourself with your belt.
Roadkill Ghost Choir released their most recent album In Tongues this past August. Singer and songwriter Andrew Shepard can weave a serpentine trail through varied landscapes. The twangy, aquatic-like guitar playing forms a sunset horizon in the backdrop and gives one the sense that leaving a place just means that you are arriving somewhere else. At times the album is reminiscent of listening to warbly old records in a very small, oddly wallpapered room. At other times Shepard will burst through his melancholy wall like the Kool-Aid man—only you’ll be the one saying, “Oh yeah!”
This is an exciting time for music folks. All throughout history we have always gone through peaks and valleys. Now that we are clawing our way out of the drudgery of the aughts, our music is finally making a comeback. Bands are beginning to go back to their roots. To a simpler time. A more creative time. The phoenix is rising, and its inevitable explosive destruction is going to be the most beautiful thing this world has ever seen. I’m not going to say that Roadkill Ghost Choir is going to be at this epic apex, but they are definitely at the short end of the fuse. »
– Aaron Mills