Elliot & The Ghost
Gig Seeker Pro

Elliot & The Ghost

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Indie




"Elliot & The Ghost Ponder Love on Debut EP"

RMP favorites Elliot & The Ghost have returned with Is This Love, their self-financed and self-released debut EP that firmly establishes them as one of Brooklyn’s bands to watch in 2014 and beyond.

The disc opens with the breezy, self-assured charmer “Sucker,” a languid and hazy horn-drenched cut that feels perfectly made for the emergence of spring. Vocalist William Thompson sounds more comfortable on “Sucker” than on anything else the band has released to date. That he does is exactly the reason why Is This Love is such an engaging collection of songs. The band has always admitted their love for The Beatles and that influence comes through in spades on the freewheeling nature of “Mamba,” a ringing cornucopia of Fab Four melody, Laurel Canyon charisma and a panache that separates them from their Brooklyn contemporaries. In our previous mention of “Mamba,” we compared the song to the likes of My Morning Jacket, Alberta Cross and the Muscle Shoals vibe. While those comparisons probably work (and best represent what the band is trying to achieve), “Mamba” really is more Laurel Canyon than anything else. But maybe that’s the point after all. On each new listen a new influence rears its head and the song takes on an entirely different dimension. But whereas many young bands sound too much like imitators everything about Elliot & The Ghost is originally, refreshing and indelible.

Penultimate cut “Sea Legs” opens dark and foreboding but segues into something more playful and promising. Sun-kissed, infectious and wholly absorbing “Sea Legs” is another step forward from a band who in their young career has yet to do any, if anything, wrong. The EP concludes with “Red Handed,” a song which ostensibly serves as the title track and finds the band once again channeling their Beatles influences. As one might hope, the song lingers long after its finished and practically urges the listener to head back to “Sucker” and start all over again.

Elliot & The Ghost are fronted by Austin, TX-native Thompson who seems more than ready for his 15 minutes of fame. Some frontmen are just born with that “It factor,” a confidence, a swagger, an inherent gift that separates themselves from their pack of contemporaries. Thompson definitely has that “it factor” as does his bandmates, guitarists Brett Giroux, bassist Connor Waleko, and drummer Dan Edwards. Having opened for the likes of Weezer, the band is no stranger to the big stage and that sense of polish shines through front front to back on Is This Love. Elliot & The Ghost have done it again! - RMP Resident Media Pundit

"Elliot & The Ghost: The Official Interview"

When you hear a true original, you know it. There's an indescribable and inimitable feeling that comes from listening to a genuinely unique artist, and there's just nothing like it. Elliot & The Ghost conjure up those kinds of emotions after one spin of their EP, Is this Love. Vibrantly painting with sonic colors spanning Nick Cave-style cinematic musings, surfed-up post-punk guitars evocative of The Smiths and The Clash, and eerily danceable beats, the songs prove instantly magnetic. Still, descriptions don't do it justice. You've just got to let Elliot & The Ghost haunt you.

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, singer and guitarist William Thompson talks Is This Love, what Elliot & The Ghost means, and so much more.

What threads the Is This Love EP together for you? It feels like there's a distinct flow.

That's really great to hear. It's interesting because some of the songs were written really far apart from one another. I think the subject matter probably has a lot in common even though the music might've been written at different times. The subject matter may transcend some of the music. It's funny. The guitar player and I have been together for about two years writing back and forth for a while. One or two of the songs was conceived during that point. When the band really came together just this year is the moment we really came together and wrote a bunch of songs. For example, "Red Handed" was written right when I moved to New York from Austin, TX. That's one of the old songs. It's last on the tracklisting. As soon as the band got together, that's when everything genuinely started. Now that these guys are in it, it's become its own thing. At this point, I feel like we've established the sound of the band. It's good to hear the EP flows accordingly. It's not like one song pops up out of nowhere.

There's definitely cohesion, but you're pulling from a myriad of influences.

Yeah, we listen to so much music too. We'd been in bands. In my previous band, we all listened to the same stuff, especially while growing up, and so there was never anything different brought to the table. Even though I'm the one who's sitting down and writing lots of the music, it's obvious when we're together that different influences of what everybody's listening to come together. For the bass, I know Connor Waleko was influenced by a lot of jazz, theory, and things like that. I had never been a part of that so much and might've even been a little scared to go that route with music, but I love that he was able to create these signature bass lines. They're subtle of course. Not a lot of people really honed in on the bass so much I'm assuming. I get a kick out of it, because I'm used to more punk rock-style bass. That's totally super fun. Everyone brings his own style and flavor. It's great.

You converge on this one midpoint that is the band...

I think that's probably what made the band. Maybe that's why it sounds a little bit different, which is a cool thought.

Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?

Definitely! As far as the lyrics go, I really love old country music. My favorite part was hearing these stories. From beginning to end, you get a book read to you. You're hearing this campfire story. I loved that in old country songs. I was trying to put that in rock music, in a way. At the same time, keeping it in a pop rock structure is challenging because you just want to go on forever. At some point, you decide to finish the story. It's always pretty interesting doing it that way.

You also don't pander to any styles or trends.

When you got that route, the sound changes. It's like you're trying to get into the crowd you're not supposed to be a part of. Having been in past bands, we got all of the teen angst out. It's a nice point to be in. We're not aiming at anything except for doing music that we like making. There's never been a feeling like, "We have to do this for this reason". It's always been natural. I love it.

How did "Sucker" come about?

The whole recording process was pretty crazy. It's one of those stories I feel like I'll be able to have forever. We spent all this money and trying to do a full-length in the past. Of course, when we felt like we were finally ready and had the songs, we were out of money at that point. So, we had to get creative with pretty much everything on the record. Without any money, we recorded all over the city in these weird environments. For the horns, a friend of a friend was like, "I have some guys in mind, but they're on the road with the circus". I said, "I'll wait until they get back from the circus and I'll reach out". It ended up working out perfectly with the timing. They came by, and they definitely knew what they were doing. They came up with a few cool lines and knocked it out of the park. It was really funny. We were in this apartment that had this huge open space with these wooden floors and walls. It created a great acoustic vibe and a big sound for the trumpets. We all met there. Knowing that these guys were clowns out of their makeup playing instruments for us was really funny.

If you were to compare the EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?

I would love if some of the songs were in Mystery Train. I love that movie. I think that Jim Jarmusch has a really great sense of color. The colors are quite similar if you wanted to look at it like that. That's a good question!

What artists shaped you?

I love The Clash. I love The Rolling Stones. Lou Reed's lyrics are amazing. That's still what I listen to all the time. I'll listen to The Clash every day. It never gets old. For some reason, I discovered Gram Parsons at this weird age when music hit me so hard. At the same time, I found this record by him, and I became obsessed. Through him, I started listening to other things as well as folk music. When I first came to New York, I was trying to make a folk band because I was going crazy with Bob Dylan. From there, you listen to all the crazy things they listen to like The Monroe Brothers and Townes Van Zandt. I love that music a lot as well.

Where did the band name come from?

Before I was even thinking about doing another band, I had this weird concept of doing a demented kids book. I wanted to write and illustrate a little ten-page book. When I came up with that name, I thought it could be a cool, weird story like this little kid is friends with a ghost. I never did the book, but I remembered the idea when it came time to do another day. It fit with the songs. The name stuck. - Artist Direct

"Elliot & The Ghost's "Sea Legs""

There’s not much to know yet about this relatively new Brooklyn-based trio, led by Austinite William Thompson. Their debut EP, Is This Love, was recorded with money made from selling a comic book collection, and it’ll be out on January 21 on LGC Records; and they’ve already landed an opening slot for Weezer in Long Island. So whatever their luck or connections, the two tunes we’ve heard so fare exude a fresh, airy kind of surf-pop in the vein of early Rosebuds or the Shins stripped of cardigans and sent back to a dank basement to get a little tipsy and start all over. Check out the premiere of the EP track, Sea Legs, below. - CMJ

"Elliot And The Ghost - "Mamba""

Apparently, today’s the day for Latin-themed song titles. On the heels of Steff and the Articles’ “Te Extrano,” New York City’s Elliott and the Ghost have released the gorgeous Southern rock anthem “Mamba.” A rousing, organ-drenched affair that calls to mind Alberta Cross, My Morning Jacket and that distinct Muscle Shoals sound, this song is an absolute monster. Their debut EP drops Jan. 21. - RMP Resident Media Pundit

"Weezer SOLD OUT SHOW at The Paramount with Elliot & The Ghost"

In the 1990′s rock n roll had spun off in a series of different directions. The most pronounced association with the decade was grunge rock. Bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana dominated the decade, but when Weezer broke onto the rock scene in 1992 an entire new scene was born. Their 1994 debut Weezer is a classic record from the era with 3 million records sold. With their power pop sound laced with powerful electric guitars, Weezer has been a force over the past 20 years. On Sunday November 24th the southern California based band broke out their winter coats for a cold windy evening on Long Island, NY to play a sold out show at The Paramount in Huntington.

Warming up the audience was Brooklyn, NY based band Elliot & The Ghost. Having formed in 2010 these New York rockers showed no fear taking the stage at The Paramount. The 4 piece band fronted by William Thompson grabbed the attention of fans as they played an interesting mix of folk, alternative, and southern rock. They were energetic and showed good stage presence. By the time Elliot & The Ghost was complete with their set the room was full and they received a warm ovation from the audience. There is no doubt this is a big step for the New York natives ready to take the next step in their musical careers. - Cryptic Rock

"Is This Love?"

Curse these metal hands! Well, not so much my metal hands as my life-consuming day job that keeps me from getting through the deluge of emails I get from bands in a timely manner (also ten points if you caught that reference).

Anyhoo, I’m terribly upset with myself for missing out on Brooklyn’s own Elliot & The Ghost before their last show of the Summer, and hitting the road for their first headlining tour.

From The Beatles-tinted “Last Days” to “Cruel Treats,” a smoldering piece of dark blues rock that’s perfect for a Tarantino-esque cannonball run through the cool desert night, Elliot & The Ghost prove to be a unique mix of blues, folk, and southern rock.

Depending on how you look at it, this four-piece is either an indie-folk band steeped in diesel, stale beer, and cheap bourbon or a dirty blues rock band that’s really into jangling 60’s rock. Either way, Elliot & The Ghost mean business, so stream their debut EP Is This Love below and be sure to head over to bandcamp to pick up a digital copy. - Aesthetes Anonymous

"The LIVE Review"

Fontana's Elliot and the Ghost is the new project of William Thompson formerly of Austin's The Steps. Their sound is hard to pin down, but way easy to enjoy. During their set I heard elements of Spoon, Cold War Kids, Band of Horses, and even some Uncle Tupelo. Never in a hurry, but always getting there and making their point with aplomb, these nascent songs were mesmerizing and delivered in a polished way that only confidence and experience can bring about.

I hope that bands like Elliot and Tenements are a sign of a more flannelled future for our ever in flux NYC music scene, where irony gets check in at the door and sincerity in songwriting can bust on through. Catch them tonight (May 17) at Pianos and see for yourself.” - Gimme Shutter

"Is This Love Review"

“…heart-on-the-sleeve indie folk with heavy Dylan overtones.” - Time Out New York


Is This Love EP - 2014

Bad Enough Single - 2014 (Upcoming)



     Elliot & The Ghost came
together in 2013 in New York City. Having recently departed from Austin’s teen
outfit The Steps, singer William Thompson met drummer Daniel Edwards, guitarist
Brett Giroux, and bassist Connor Jones. The band’s very first performances were
held in old Brooklyn loft spaces and scuzzy dives. Within a year’s time the
group was invited as direct support alongside Weezer, and has since shared
stages with B.B. King, The Chain Gang of 1974, amongst many others.
band released their debut EP Is this Love
in early 2014. The 5-song set was recorded in the
bowels of Brooklyn in a cramped basement apartment. Their limited budget
required the band to get creative, mic’ing a staircase to capture percussion,
and convincing two clowns from the passing Ringling Brothers circus to
contribute trumpet and trombone, all the while having to stop every 5 minutes
to allow the rumbling trains to pass by. Artist Direct praised Is This Love
as “a
vibrant painting with sonic colors spanning Nick Cave-style cinematic musings,
surfed-up post-punk guitars evocative of The Smiths and The Clash, and eerily danceable beats,
the songs prove instantly magnetic. Still, descriptions don't do it justice.
You've just got to let Elliot & The Ghost haunt you.” Flavorpill lauded their “brand of Southern
influenced pop-rock,” and Gimme Shutter declared the disk as
“mesmerizing.” Similarly, CMJ applauded their “fresh, airy
kind of surf-pop in the vein of early Rosebuds or the Shins stripped of
cardigans and sent back to a dank basement to get a little tipsy and start all

band completed a three month long tour in support of Is This Love in the Summer and Fall of 2014, and are now back with
a brand new series of singles and an upcoming full length debut album.

Band Members