Ghost Animal
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Ghost Animal

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Punk


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Ghost Animal plays the kind of scratchy distorted garage rock that I theorize is best consumed live. Among other like-minded, flourescently dressed, PBR drinking kids. It’s the kind of welcoming noise that suggests a party. It’s also decent bedroom music, rightfully so with a debut entitled “In Your Room” available for digital download HERE.

Likewise, their debut tape “Summertime in Heaven” comes out July 20th via Summertime in Hell. Oh and it gets better, they’re also apart of a collective featured on the AMDISCS mixtape available HERE. I was recently sent the ‘Sausage Twilight Mixtape’ and it’s got some killer tracks on it from Com Truise, Craft Spells, Teenage Reverb, Dream Boat and plenty more. Be sure to check out the AMDISCS mix here. - Friends with Both Arms

Michael from Ghost Animal seems to constantly be recording per his social networks, and then shares said tracks with bloggers, friends, lovers, and fighters. He might replace James Brown as the hardest working man in show business. Ghost Animal’s blend of more punk-informed garage psych is worthy of your earspace over many aesthetically-similar artists, in my opinion, as the group truly nails the balance between pure pop prowess and mind altering dissonance. I’ve said it before, but I’ll reiterate – fans of Spacemen 3 and Woven Bones need to be on this. Put away the Wavves thing and drop the needle down on this total summer banger. - The Decibel Tolls

The first line of the album, “I’m not in a position to tell you what I think…” is an odd way to open things up. It’s nonchalant and apathetic. The singer could care less, really. It’s as if he’s reached the breaking point, in a relationship most likely, to quit trying and let the other change their own mind. And that’s a breath of fresh air for him, a nudge to move on. But he didn’t say it was easy. Summertime In Heaven speaks much of the attempt to rebuild a broken relationship, which at times, the relationship appears nonexistent, possibly even a fantasy. The titles even suggest it (i.e. “Change Your Mind,” “Single Man,” “Vanity Affair,” “Out of Reach”).

Michael Avishay, the man behind Ghost Animal, is moved by heartbreaking melodies hidden in fuzz and constant pounding. Oh, and these songs are best at the loudest POSSIBLE. Ghost Animal does exceptionally well giving the listener an idea of the kind of energy that is delivered live. “Dreams” and “Through Your Eyes” contain an onslaught of rambunctious, violent grunge power. I envision a stage, after these songs played live, decorated with shattered cymbals and chucked-at-the-wall guitars.

However, the music isn’t always angry. Heck, the album’s title is ‘Summertime In Heaven’ — it has to warm up sometime, right?! Ghost Animal explores fuzzy beach pop as well, without getting ‘too’ cute. They still have an edge but with more of a pleasant, hopeful feeling. The lyrics on the title track sing, “‘I’m happier than I’ve never been, I was happier then, I’ll be happy again, happy again.” The character seems confused but is slowly moving on and realizes one day he will discover happiness. “Some Other Time” [audio below] is as poppy as you’ll hear from Ghost Animal, a great song to play as you’re just hitting the beach.

The last two songs shift back to despair lyrically, proving this battle has not yet ended. Summertime In Heaven‘s themes leave the listener with confusion, which is actually appealing this time. So what happens to the character on this record? With many ups-and-downs, does he remain depressed and lonely, or has he found that happiness he was searching for? Moving past this mystery, the music speaks for itself in a time where many lo-fi/garage rock groups have few distinctions. Ghost Animal’s debut full-length is focused and compelling — a great soundtrack for getting through a rough time or driving fast on the way to the beach. - Audio Milk

I’ve known Michael from Ghost Animal for a while, but it took a recent conversation with him about his recording technics to appreciate the depths of his depravity.

I just assume that most “Lo-Fi” artists just slam their axe an inch from the some halfway decent uni-directional instrumental mic, and peak the crap out it, then just toss a couple filters on that sucker and BAM, ride out into the sunset. Mr. Avishay on the other hand just records directly into his Mac’s computer microphone, and this just happens to be what he ends up with.

To make this a little clearer to those not particularly savvy with recording techniques, that’s like painting with rocks.

But you can’t argue with results! And what he ends up with are odes to the pop apocalypse, destruction ala carte, beautiful stabs and shots thrown wildly into the darkest night.

However recently there been another figure entered into the mix. And when you combine that rawest of aesthetics with with the mastering skills of Lance of Pandit, you end up with a somewhat refined Ghost Animal. A scholarly cannibal if you will.

“Golden Boy” The first track I heard from his soon to be released 7” EP is a perfect example of that, all of the power with a little less of the unbridled noise. It’s a killer combo I can’t wait to hear more of! But since the 7” won’t be out for a few more months, I recommend grabbing his recently released cassette through the link below.

And by “recommend” I mean “insist”. - Dead as Digital

What caught me about this particular song by Ghost Animal isn’t necessarily the flash-grenade recording but more-so the blanketed harmonies and the sincerity of the words. This dude’s pissed. And the Ghost Animal, Michael Avishay, barely 21, reminds me of my time in that young age, and the certain disdain I had for almost everything that came from questioning everything the potential for that to be expressed through art. But enough about me! This song is catchier after the first few listens. - Weekly Tape Deck

I have been waiting for a physical drop of Ghost Animal's Summer Time In Heaven since the hottest days of summer began to make their rounds. Now it appears that Mat Cothran (of Coma Cinema) is helping me realize that fantasty (non-sexual, unless you want it to be). Cothran seemingly started up his own cassette label, titled Summer Time In Hell, with the focused intent of releasing this brilliant gem of psychedelic, fuzzed out garage jams to the world. What a great guy. Go ahead and peep "Single Man," and if that one tickles your fancy the way it did mine, you can snag a download of the entire album too. (via Get Off The Coast) - Altered Zones


In Your Room EP, 2010 - AMDISCS
Summertime in Heaven, 2010 - Summer Time in Hell (full-length debut album, cassette/digital)
In Your Room/Single Man 7" single, 2010 - AMDISCS
A Ceremony EP, 2010 - The Spooky Town (7" EP)
Ghost Animal, 2010 - Kill/Hurt (full-length cassette)



In its current and most true incarnation, Ghost Animal is made up of college students Michael Avishay and Marisa Rowland.

Michael Avishay has been playing as Ghost Animal since he was fifteen, but it was only within the last two years that punk, post-punk, and shoegaze influences began to take hold. After being exposed to Jesus and Mary Chain, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, and the girl-pop of the the 1960s by his best friend Marisa Rowland, Michael began working on a new batch of songs that became Ghost Animal's first album, Summertime in Heaven, recorded entirely by himself in Portland and Los Angeles and released digitally and on cassette by Orchid Tapes and Summer Time in Hell. In March of 2010, Marisa joined him in the band, contributing to a duplicitious existence: the self-indulgent recordings released and circulated to a variety of blogs, including Pitchfork's own Altered Zones, and the stripped down explosive fast-paced nature of their live act. The story goes: Michael was playing with his friend Max on drums. Max had to quit the band unexpectedly, leaving Michael with a gig to play and no drummer. A friend suggested he ask his best friend Marisa, who had no prior musical experience, to play drums. Drawing inspiration from early Jesus and Mary Chain and Velvet Underground, Michael taught Marisa the basics of a drum kit using just a floor tom and a snare. He taught her a basic pattern and she mastered the drums from there, playing her first show with him within a week. And it is from there that Ghost Animal, whatever strange and tense monster it is, was born.

Outside of Portland, Ghost Animal has played shows in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, with such notable up-and-comers as Gobble Gobble, Teen Daze, Blackbird Blackbird, Kites Sail High, Fiveng, Hardly Art's Seapony, Captured Tracks's newest signees, Craft Spells, and Sarah Records legends 14 Iced Bears.

Ghost Animal continue to be in high demand in their improvised hometown of Portland, working a continuing live schedule around their college schedule. Since returning to Portland in August, they've consistently played two to three shows a month, to great enthusiasm.

Since Ghost Animal's earliest recordings started circulating back in March of 2010, they have been written up on some of the most widely-read and respected blogs and magazines, both electronic and in print, being featured multiple times on Hartzine, Delicious Scopitone, Get Off the Coast, Weekly Tape Deck, No Modest Bear, Altered Zones, YVYNYL, and Magic RPM, just to name a few. Ghost Animal's predominate influences are Jesus and Mary Chain, most notably their debut album Psychocandy, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, Phil Spector-era girlpop, the Pixies, Nirvana, New Order, Joy Division (they were described by Philidelphia blog YVYNYL as "noisy Joy Division worshippers"), the Kinks, and the Sonics, as well as more recent and contemporary lo-fi punk rock acts like Wavves, Cloud Nothings, Harlem, Beach Fossils, and early Best Coast.

Among the many fantastic independent labels Ghost Animal is working with, they will release a full-length cassette in November on LA's Kill/Hurt, a label that has been profiled both in the Los Angeles Times and on NPR. Ghost Animal has also released a full-length album on Orchid Tapes & Summer Time in Hell, run by Foxes in Fiction and Coma Cinema, respectively.

Michael and Marisa convened in the suburb of Orinda in July 2011 to record and produce their first full-length as a duo. They are still mixing the record, which will hopefully see a release in the spring of 2012.