13ghosts will release two albums in 2011- 'Liar's Melody' with This Is American Music, and 'Garland of Bottle Flies' with Skybucket Records. Garland of Bottle Flies has been a work in progress since early 2008 and is a production record. Liar's Melody was written and recorded in January and February of 2011 and is a mostly live record with a much rawer sensibility than previous albums by the band. It features Maria Taylor singing harmonies on two songs (one of them, Broken Objects, is available above).
Both albums are at the beginning of building a critical following. There is an upcoming interview/review in Paste Magazine, and many blogs and magazines have features/reviews already out or forthcoming.
Armstrong was a contributing member of the Dexateens until recently, when the band was officially retired. 13ghosts' show schedule has been sporadic for the last couple of years because of the hectic, constant touring that the Dexateens did, but 13ghosts have now begun to tour more regularly again. For dates, please visit them at facebook.com/13ghosts.
Below are some press excerpts.
One half of the songwriting team behind 13ghosts, Brad Armstrong sings like Richard Buckner at a closed-casket viewing and favors intensely Book of Revelations imagery. 13ghosts continue to reinvent themselves with every song, trying on new sounds and styles to see what fits
The Strangest Colored Lights is a persistently somber, mostly humorless album, but it's so musically vigorous that you wouldn't mind if they dwelt on death for the rest of their lives.
-Pitchfork on The Strangest Colored Lights (7.6 Rating)
Cicada is chockablock with ideas, encompassing an impressive breadth of styles and sounds-- sharp Southern rock, drowsy gospel, laidback 1970s pop, buzzing indie lo-fi, Sparklehorse-style self-destructive folk, percolating lounge rhythms, threadbare Americana, a little country, a little blues, a few drum machines and some George Harrison-style guitarwork-- all jammed together in 21 tracks with unusual arrangements, jostling transitions, and abrupt endings that musically enact the lyrics' obsession with untimely death and departure.
-Pitchfork on Cicada (7.8 Rating)
Early Space Oddity Bowie glam-folk crawls over some indie beard-rock grooves, like they've fallen from some universal troubadour as he flew back into the future. Smooth vocals and strangely groove-aware beats stick out under the folktronic myths and stories. Some guitars and drugs hit, and there is a darkness that haunts the sounds of these ghosts; a fuzz, noise and a desire to rock that creeps out like some haunted memory of something you can't put your finger on. There are also indierock epic sounds that are like waves and trumpets that blow you back like some demented outcast from a shoegazed version of Hair, and yeah that spooks me out.
- Big Takeover (On The Strangest Colored Lights)
Authenticity is a word that is often thrown around in music circles, and while its hard to pin down exactly what quality it is that makes a band authentic, you know it when you hear it. 13ghosts are a band that possess that indefinable quality. They have been around for a long time, and they sound like it.
this group displays enough offhand soul and talent to last a half dozen bands a long run.
-Pop Culture Press
The band may be haunted by the past and by things which are lost, buried, or hidden, but the creativity recorded on The Strangest Colored Lights assures that 13ghosts will not languish unheard and unseen. Its more than a whisper. It is alive.
13 Ghostss music acknowledges the realness of death but at the same time exposes the wonders of life
Underneath the bands haunting vocals and incredibly textured, atmospheric sounds, its soul and story creep out of a layer of mourning and beg to be heard.
- Vice Magazine
Cicada is a joyous album that has no problem practically punching the mundane boredom of emo with the despair of folk.
13ghosts true gift is being able to look back while looking forward.
Cicada is the sophomore release for 13ghosts, and the record clearly brands the group as one of the more innovative unsigned acts in the market today.
- Performing Songwriter
a haunting, honest, and distinctly American album.
you really need to spend all 62 minutes with the album in order to fully appreciate it.
I was a slack-jawed idiot after I first bathed in the astral delight that is Cicada, and Im still catching flies.
-75 or Less
Like two consciousnesses colliding, Russell's sparkling but solemn indie pop intertwines seamlessly with Armstrong's beautifully morose roots rock, which together serve up different textures of melancholia... During the course of 21 songs, which clock in at just over an hour, Cicada charts a vast expanse of musical territory pop, country, gospel,
13ghosts (EP, 1999)
two (EP, 2000)
we are the sun (LP, 2001)
oh my demon! (EP, 2002)
your window is burning (LP, 2002)
cicada (LP, 2004, re-issue 2005)
the strangest colored lights (LP, 2008)
liar's melody (LP, 2011)
garland of bottle flies (LP, 2011)
We do not do any covers.
Our set lengths and set lists are tailored to the event.