Ghost Ghost
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Ghost Ghost

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Pop




""Ghost Ghost merge music with pure art.""

After watching experiencing a musical performance inclusive of video images and a live creation of a canvas painting before our eyes, we recently caught up with Kevin Peckham from Ghost Ghost. Kevin and his creative partner Karl Ward make up this band where they show their skills, each playing multiple instruments and simultaneously creating an ambiance on stage... - New York Planet

""...the ability to blend literature with lyricism...""

A sit down at Clinton Street’s Donnybrook pub with Ghost Ghost guitarist Karl Ward and bassist Kevin Peckham is as much a lesson in literature as it was in lyrical composition.

Over drinks around the corner from the band’s Lower East Side rehearsal space, the guys are as eager to discuss Kurt Vonnegut as they are their other more musical inspirations. For the guys in Ghost Ghost, being part of a band is as much about books as it is about making music. “One thing that’s true about both of us is we need to be reading books to write songs” Peckham says of the band’s songwriting method. “There’s a lot of music I love, but a very small amount has inspired me to write a song; a large amount of literature has.”

The ability to blend the line between literature and lyricism is what brought Ward and Peckham together in the first place. The two found their creative connection in 2008 and after a long-distance song-writing exchange, Peckham decided it was time to relocate from San Francisco to New York. “We’d been swapping songs for years,” Peckham says. “I moved here with the express purpose of starting a band with Karl.”

The two originally met passing off apartment keys for a summer sublet in the city back in 2004.

It’s not surprising then that two years after forming Ghost Ghost, when the duo decided to write its first album, its members found their inspiration in a book: Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford, a biography about Pulitzer-Prize winning New York poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her morphine addiction, sexual trysts and tragic end—when she was discovered dead at the bottom of her stairwell—are the imagery rock music is made of.

“I feel she’s almost totally unsung as far as poets go,” Ward says. “I studied poetry and never read her in any class. Almost no one ever mentioned her and now I think she’s one of the best poets in the English language, whose life happened to be as, if not more, interesting than her writing, and I think she’s due for a renaissance.”

And why not a rock renaissance? Ward and Peckham penned the 10-song tribute to Millay one day shy of her 118th birthday on February 21; yes, the whole thing in just one day. The resulting record, No Clothes on Ragged Island, was released March 1, on the same day as the band’s second EP Of Innocence and Experience. No Clothes gets its name from an island off the coast of Maine where bathing suits were banned and Millay spent her summers swimming naked. And while Innocence is in line with the high energy, hard rock aesthetic that’s gotten Ghost Ghost a regular rotation at venues like Public Assembly and Webster Hall, No Clothes offers another side of Ghost Ghost. It’s a combination of country and folk that puts the band more on par musically with bands like Counting Crows than, say, Fugazi crossed with Bruce Springsteen circa “Thunder Road,” which is how the band describes itself.

“This is the first time we’ve really been able to stretch out into the areas in which we haven’t done before because it was less organic,” Ward says. “If you don’t have a deadline you just keep screwing around. It opened up venues that we thought about but never tried.” It’s fresh, enthusiastic and a credit to how passionately the band approached the challenge of portraying Millay’s life from her birth in 1892 to her death in 1950.

However, this doesn’t mean that the band is dialing down its live show any time soon. “We’ve never tried to step back. Our shows tend to be pretty upbeat and loud—[there’s] a lot of jumping around,” Ward says. It took me two trips to the bar at a recent live show to understand that you don’t set down your drink at a Ghost Ghost show; the reverberations alone are enough to knock it over. This progression from the band not only promises less glass breaking, but also a chance for Ghost Ghost to get recognized for something other than erratic onstage antics.

“There’s a lot more to what we can do, and this is the first time at least on record where we’ve said ‘yeah we can do that too.’” - New York Press

""..channeling influences as diverse as The Mountain Goats to Leonard Cohen...""

The term "ghost" encapsulates a lot of ideas. Poltergeists, dead relatives, revenge bent evil spirits, lonely souls with unfinished business, Casper, pixilated Pac-Man enemies... anyway, Brooklyn band Ghost Ghost is like that, in a way. They encapsulate a lot of genres, though they choose to define themselves as freak-folk. Kevin Peckham (vocals, bass, keys) and Karl Ward (vocals, percussion, guitar) lead a mixed bag of musicians and artists on a journey that is both strange and familiar. It would be like seeing a phantom band led by Jeff Buckley and Jerry Garcia fronting a jammy, catchy blend of gentle spirits. Channeling influences as diverse as The Mountain Goats to Leonard Cohen, Ghost Ghost will be at The Knitting Factory on Saturday July 30. Check out their music - Deli Magazine

""...huge guitar parts and incredibly intricate keyboards...""

I am currently leaning against the bar in the back room of The Knitting Factory. It’s very dark in here and I am perched under the only real light source in this place – an overhead coffee table light (I actually didn’t realize that this place had moved to Brooklyn, my brother used to live right next to the previous iteration so I’d stupidly assumed it hadn’t randomly moved to Brooklyn).

The band takes the stage, with only two members present, each of them on at least three instruments. And if that’s not enough, they bring a painter up with them who begins working on a canvas while they play… should be an interesting show.

Ghost Ghost describes themselves as a freak folk band. There’s no better description. With huge guitar parts and incredibly intricate keyboards, their sound dominates everything around it, washing everything in psychedelic goodness. I am compelled to dance. They start up their second song called “Unreal City”. It starts off with pounding drums and a surf rock bass line. It makes me feel like I’m at Venice Beach, dancing with the waves, drunk on rum. The guitarist/drummer Karl Ward starts singing and his voice reminds me of someone I can’t place, like a person I used to barhop with in a past life. Kevin wails on the keys and they manage to crawl up into places I didn’t know existed in my brain.

They kick into the third song, called “Hide and Seek”, a song protesting the war in Iraq. It’s pretty dreamy and spaced out with vocals that proclaim: “I know you’d tell me to get some sleep/ I just can’t remember where I put my bed.” It’s rather peaceful and the painter, Charlie, works diligently behind them. It’s a strangely beautiful painting, with great swaths of red and pink. I think it might be a raw steak and now he’s filling up the empty space with neon lime green and Kevin just called out: “We came from space! We brought machines… it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

I’ve never been to a show like this.

Kevin is now playing a second set of keyboards while standing on a bench. He’s dual wielding like a madman. I wish I knew the name of this song for future reference. All I know is the last line is “This is not a valentine.” They’re starting up their last song called “Coney Island, You Old Bastard”. They’ve been projecting trippy visuals onto the wall behind them the whole set and now they’re throwing up a flickering image of the Wonder Wheel. I bite my lip a little bit as they manage to express exactly how crummy Coney Island is now.

“Coney Island, you old bastard/ no one’s listening/ so if you wanna say one last thing/ you can.” It raps up a wonderful and strange show. - Knocks from the Underground

""Ghost Ghost are not just musicians; they are also poets...""

NYC indie music blog Knocks from the Underground had this to say about Ghost Ghost in their review of "Of Innocence and Experience"

Ghost Ghost "... have a raw, mellow, dissonant alt-rock sound reminiscent of early Bright Eyes.

"...their lyrics are well thought out and meaningful."

"It is clear from an initial listen that the members of Ghost Ghost are not just musicians; they are also poets. Each song tells a complex story, taking several listens to fully understand the meaning of. They do a superb job at ensuring the tone of the story matches the rhythm of the music. In an age where "vocals" can mean simply being able to scream and wail incomplete words into a microphone, it is refreshing to see a band that still values the role of the lyricist."

"There is a grunge rock feel to their music that I miss hearing in most of their contemporaries. It's not just the dissonance or the crazy guitar riffs or the steady, heavy drumming, it's the feeling behind it. Ghost Ghost's passion and efforts seep through every aspect of their music." - Knocks from the Underground

"" Bright Eyes at their best, sad and sincere. .""

It’s rare these days that people would care about poetry. And so, apart from a couple of songs like Sylvia Plath by Ryan Adams, and What Waited for Me by Rocky Votolato, the influence of poetry is minimal in the world of pop music; and when it is mentioned or spoken about in popular culture, then more for the dark, mysterious, and hysteric private lives of the authors (suicide and homosexuality work best) than for their actual works. Oh, there’s mentions of literature here and there, but never enough to really make me go wow.

So when I came across No Clothes on Ragged Island by Ghost Ghost, I was surprisingly amazed. It’s a whole concept album dedicated to New York poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, solidly good though all songs were written in one day. Less freak-folk than some of their other works, this record is easy on the ear, with lines that will get stuck in your head for days on end. On the track Bizarre Love Triangle, words become rhythm, lines become rhymes: pure Dylan-songwriting, lacking the over-the-top irony.

I didn’t realize at first that this power was a curse that bleeds me
And what’s worse, these words I rehearse, they no longer please me

Every song is inspired by events that took place in Edna’s life, whether they be major or minor; with this main thread, the band from New York were able to put together a soundtrack of sorts to document and enrich the past. At times the voice and tone remind me of Bright Eyes at their best, sad and sincere. The images that find their root in story-telling about drinking and demons are simple but strong, and most of all effective. - Art-Star Music Blog

""Full of beautiful arrangements and haunting vocals...""

Popularized by The Beatles in 1967 with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and then mastered by its predecessors Pink Floyd, The Who and David Bowie, the concept album is one of Rock music’s toughest creative quests. Many try, many fail– only Gods prevail.

Modern bands such as The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria and Green Day have had success with their conceptual records, but many present day attempts fall short of their initial ambition; however, this notion was smashed by a recent BandSoup entry from a New York based indie rock band, Ghost Ghost.

The band’s ten track concept album, No Clothes on Ragged Island, is based on the life of New York poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. The project was conceived by Kevin Peckham and Karl Ward on February 20, 2010 after reading Savage Beauty, a biography on Edna Millay’s life. Each track is a scene from the poet’s life, told in chronological order. All songs were written on February 21, just one day shy of Millay’s 118th birthday. Arrangement, recording, and mixing were completed within one week.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was the first woman to receive a Pullitzer Prize for Poetry, but is better known for her unconventional, sexually promiscuous, bohemian lifestyle. Ghost Ghost’s members are constantly absorbing inspiration from literature and reincarnating it into their music, but Edna’s “morphine addiction, sexual trysts and tragic end—when she was discovered dead at the bottom of her stairwell—are the imagery rock music is made of.”

Full of beautiful folk arrangements, haunting vocals, and picturesque poetics, No Clothes on Ragged Island is this year’s best kept secret. Ghost Ghost has constructed a conceptual classic and the real travesty lies in its abandonment. Make room on your 2010 top ten list, it’s almost frightening what Ghost Ghost has accomplished.

You can stream the entire No Clothes on Ragged Island by clicking here. On this site you can listen, read the lyrics and concept of each song by clicking on the song title, and of course, make a purchase. $10 for the Compact Disc Deluxe Package is an absolute steal! It includes: The CD, an immediate free digital download of all 10 songs, a free “No Clothes on Ragged Island” booklet that includes a timeline of the songs in the context of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s life, as well as lyrics and guitar chords for all ten songs, a poster and more. - BandSoup

""Dreamy Poetry Moving along at True Rock-and-Roll pace""

Every fantasy role playing game that came out for the Super Nintendo back in the nineties had the same premise: An oppressive force steals or hides all the magic in the entire world and uses it to, well, oppress the entire world. One fateful day, the planets align and a ‘chosen’ warrior (or band of warriors) sets foot on an epic journey to reclaim the magic, level by level, and, eventually, save the world. No matter what the differentiating details might have been, it was most important that the warriors were ‘special,’ thus fulfilling some prophecy the elf sages or dragon wizards or talking pools of water had foreseen. This must have been what it was like when Tim Ireland, Kevin Peckham and Karl Ward first formed Ghost Ghost back in January 2008.

Now, I admit, that’s a long, drawn out, geek-speak way of saying, "These guys are a spectacular combination of artists," but it’s appropriate. There’s an intelligence woven into their latest EP, Time Is Gravity (self-released, 2008), that works on every level and speaks clearly to an audience long bored by repetitive pop songs and jock rockers with emo-haircuts. Not that they should be considered geek rock. Ghost Ghost are a far cry from being stuffed in lockers, but their ability to correctly and melodiously reference Stephen Hawking, Orwell’s 1984 and the human olfactory system earns them some scholarly brownie points.

The album opens with “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” a heady grunge tune that drives itself into an unexpectedly deserved bass guitar and drum ‘walk’ that’s definitely not filler. Ireland’s drums burn up every track on the EP with unavoidable, pounding rhythms, keeping the dreamy poetry moving along at true rock-and-roll pace. In “Unreal City,” guitarist Ward takes the reins, introducing his unique vocal ability in a groovy, cyclical mini-anthem, paying tribute to Bohemia whole-heartedly. Peckham’s lyrical capabilities are exposed most ruthlessly in the deeply personal “Forest Fires,” which makes use of more metaphor than the rest of the album combined. The title track, “Time is Gravity,” shines in a brilliant display of all three musicians’ musical dexterity, and, in closing, “Cadmium Red” is a new take on the she-devil song that delivers a thrilling three-part harmony.

Ultimately, Ghost Ghost truly understands their audience. They keep an up-to-date blog ( and a simple MySpace page, both of which have links to all the tracks from Time Is Gravity. They were recently bouncing around New England, staying extremely busy according to their blog, and made their triumphant return to NYC on May 4 at the Life Café. Check out one of their many local gigs in the next few weeks, including May 14th at Trash Bar or the 20th at Fontana’s. - Knocks from the Underground

""Time is Gravity" Track of the Day"


"When you have my job you spend countless hours listening to music that should have never been created - the world would have gone on fine without it. But when a worthy track like "Time is Gravity" comes into muzic it makes all those flushed hours seem almost worth it because if you gave up you would have missed this one." - MuzicHunter /

""St. Valentine's Day Massacre" Top Song Pick of the Week"

The music blog Lucid Culture “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” one of the Lucid Culture top ten songs of the week. They described the song as “Driving, percussive indie rock motoring along with a killer rhythm section and a dark lyrical sensibility – like early Wire but with more balls.”

- Lucid Culture Music Blog

"Skope Magazine names Ghost Ghost 'Artist 2 Watch'"

Skope Magazine named Ghost Ghost and "Artist 2 Watch" in March 2010. -

"Snowboarder Magazine - Staff Pick"

Having been together just over a year, New York indie rock trio Ghost Ghost recently released their debut EP, "Time Is Gravity." I love this album so much I actually paid for it. And that’s saying a lot in this recession-addled economy. Word on the street is that Ben Bernanke personally added this to his iPod shuffle, though no official word has confirmed that Ghost Ghost will be part of the forthcoming stimulus package. That’s ok. There is such a thing as over-stimulation.

One of most unique selections on Time Is Gravity is the opening track, “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” The vocals are intriguing, perplexing, and filled with dark anxiety. Adding to the tension is a tumultuous multi-part percussion arrangement and a guitar performance that will require you to rethink just how much electricity can be driven through an electric guitar. This ensemble is sleek, low to the ground, and designed to kill. My advice: get it before it gets you. You have been warned.

- Ben Fee, Associate Editor, Snowboarding Magazine
December 12, 2008 - Ben Fee, Associate Editor

" Album Review"

Ghost Ghost sounds like a cross between Fugazi and "Thunder Road" era Bruce Springsteen. Their debut "Time is Gravity" EP captures the post-grunge explosion in its wiry instrumentation... lyrics are impressive and well placed. Here's an album from a band well versed in the anxiety and energy of the early 90s. Bands like Mudhoney come to mind. This is a good album to serve with copious amounts of canned beer.

Mike DeBlois,
December 7, 2009 - Mike DeBlois,

"WRXP 101.9 - Local Feature"

"Forest Fires" is a great song. Ghost Ghost is one of the best up and coming bands in NYC.

Matt Pinfield, Host
"Matt Pinfield in the Mornings"
WRXP 101.9 - The New York Rock Experience - Matt Pinfield


2013 "Hey Princess"
2011 "Vassar Days / Bizarre Love Triangle" 7"
2010 "No Clothes on Ragged Island"
2010 "Of Innocence and Experience" - EP
2008 "Time is Gravity" - EP



Ghost Ghost is an indie pop trio lead by singer / songwriters Karl Ward and Kevin Peckham.

Ghost Ghost live shows feature painting by New York artist Charlie Kemmerer and experimental video art by New York filmmaker Tim Bartlett. Mark Christensen (of Stone Document) also began performing with the band in 2010.

Ghost Ghost self-released their debut EP Time is Gravity in 2008 and followed with two more releases in 2010, Of Innocence and Experience EP and No Clothes on Ragged Island — a full length LP inspired by the life of NYC poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

In 2010 the song Time is Gravity was used in the season finale of World of Jenks.

Late 2010 the band released two holiday singles Please Stay for Christmas Eve and Christmas Comes Whenever You Come Home.

In 2011 the band debuted a new sound at SXSW — a more experimental indie pop approach blending vocal harmonies and a modern indie-pop songwriting approach with surprising beat juxtapositions.

In 2012 the band took a break with marriages happening, babies being born, and loved ones falling seriously ill.

In early 2013 the band marked its return with the release of the triumphant single Hey Princess also picked-up by MTV for use in the second season of World of Jenks.

A new full-length album is slated for release in autumn 2013.