Ghost Shirt
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Ghost Shirt

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"year in review - top 20 of 2010 and more."

It may shock some of you, this retro-fitted blogger partakes in music past the mid-90s. Plenty of it in fact, as evidenced by 2008 & 2009 year end rundowns. Much like those years, there was a modicum of challenge in tabulating twenty albums from this year that I felt truly enthusiastic about. As was the case with Passion Pit's stunning 2009 entry Manners, 2010 had a far and away front runner via Ben Folds collaborative LP with High Fidelity author Nick Hornby titled Lonely Avenue. Hornby reportedly did all the lyrical legwork, while Ben masterminded the compositions, though you'd swear on a stack of bibles moon-high that the character sketches and oddball vignettes populating Lonely Avenue was the trademark prose of Ben himself. The album doesn't rest on the strength of the songwriting alone, rather Ben's sublime melodies bolster Avenue with a vitality that hasn't been so utterly consistent since the first two Ben Folds Five platters. And don't get me started on how viscerally intoxicating the ballads are.

Speaking of intoxicating, The Drums and Hooray for Earth gave us some slyly updated techno-pop, and it's damn shame that the buzz surrounding the first of those two outfits was so fleeting and ineffective. Adam Marsland's impromptu, banged-out-in-a-day Hello Cleveland was occasionally frivolous, but by and large packed some serious staying power. Killing Joke came through with their best album in some twenty years, and a reinvigorated Superchunk didn't miss a beat on Majesty Shredding, arguably outdoing some of their late '90s albums. Gavin Guss, formally of Tubetop issued his solo debut in 2010, Mercury Mine, and one of the only notable pure power-pop records on my list, slighty edging out a band he derived considerable inspiration from, The Posies. Amusement Parks on Fire continued their amped-out, post-punk onslaught on their third album, Road Eyes, with London's Male Bonding following suit. Once again, it was a real banner year for Sub Pop, who gave us LPs by Beach House, Retribution Gospel Choir, Happy Birthday, and the aforementioned Male Bonding...

...BUT what about a dozen of my once reliable standbys that released new albums year: The Thermals, Damien Jurado, Someone Still Loves Your Boris Yeltsin, Ted Leo, Rogue Wave, Band of Horses, Manic Street Preachers, Two Hours Traffic, Pete Yorn, Interpol, Rooney, and even Tobin Sprout? Yes, they all hit the shelves, but considerably shy of the dartboard as well. In years past most of the aforementioned would breeze into my top-20 album roll quick as an eyelash, but 2010 was the year I had to gauge otherwise. Though generally better than tolerable, the offerings from these once consistently satisfying crusaders were regrettably less than stimulating or outright sub-par...and by and large not even deserving of a worthy mention. These folks disappointed the hell out of me, and I hope they can rekindle some of their former moxie in the years to come. Ok, bitchfest over. Boy, that was cathartic

But wait, there's more! I've also tabulated a list of my favorite 20 songs of the year, though not necessarily ranked in order of preference. As with the albums, there was a glaringly obvious fave song of the year as well, courtesy of an upstart Perth, Australia duo, Tim & Jean. Presumed prodigies of Passion Pit, and with only a pair of publicly released tunes to their name (an album is to follow this year) Tim & Jean's "Come Around" is an immediate and mesmerising Casio-fueled blast, bearing an irresistible groove and a blue-eyed savviness beyond their years. A bit out of character for the music I pimp on Wilfully Obscure, but try it on for size and you'll become a convert. I won't be shocked if some of you want to hurl the book at me for some of my song picks, but then again I've never been one to cater to hipsters. There's a lot of overlap between my album and song lists, but that's often how it works out.

I haven't even had the chance to touch upon my suggested reissues for 2010, but when I can catch my next breath later this week I'll try to share some pertinent links and online reviews. I've compiled a somewhat random 18-track "playlist" of sorts to accompany my self-indulgent rankings, with an emphasis on some of the relatively unknown quantities, and I've also thrown in a few live cuts from the more recognizable names to keep the feds off my back. You'll find the link waaaaaaaay at the bottom, and this time I'm not revealing the tracklist. There's gold in them hills, I'll just leave it at that. Thank you class of '10.

Top 20 albums of 2010:

01. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue (Nonesuch)
02. The Drums - s/t (Island)
03. Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life (Sony)
04. Adam Marsland - Hello Cleveland (Karma Frog)
05. Amusement Parks on Fire - Road Eyes (Filter)
06. Best Coast - Crazy for You (Mexican Summer)
07. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts (Sub Pop)
08. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding (Merge)
09. Burning Hotels - Novels (Miss Press)
10. The National - High Violet (4AD)
11. Beach House - Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
12. Gavin Guss - Mercury Mine (self-released)
13. The Depreciation Guild - Spirit Youth (Kanine)
14. Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent (Spinefarm)
15. The Posies - Blood Candy (Ryko)
16. Hooray for Earth - Momo ep (Dovecote)
17. The Besnard Lakes - Are the Roaring Night (Jagjaguar)
18. The Gamits - Parts (Suburban Home)
19. Joey Cape - Doesn't Play Well With Others (self-released, online)
20. Happy Birthday - s/t (Sub Pop)

Bubbling under:

The Ultimate Fakebook - Daydream Radio is Smiling Static
The Lives of Famous Men - Marigold Maxixe ep
Retribution Gospel Choir - 2 (Sub Pop)
Small Black - New Chain (Jagjaguar)
Rogue Wave - Permalight (Brushfire)
Robert Pollard - We All Got Out of the Army & Moses on a Snail
Ghost Shirt - Domestique (Anyway)
Smith Westerns - s/t (Fat Possum)
Teenage Fanclub - Shadows (Merge)
- Willfully Obscure Blog

"Ghost Shirt - Domestique - a brief evaluation"

Ghost Shirt - Domestique (2010, Anyway) - a brief evaluation

As ponderous as I find the lofty, orchestral-lite formula wunderkinds du jour The Arcade Fire have taken to the bank (also qualifying, but to a lesser extent Broken Social Scene) their artsy angle isn’t entirely unappealing in itself, rather I’ve never been one for style over substance. Columbus, Ohio’s Ghost Shirt (who like the Arcade Fire also happen to be a co-ed proposition) miraculously meet my criteria, as it were, for equivalent quotients of both of those ever so tricky but all too crucial facets - much in the way a mid-size sedan (say a Camry or a Malibu) comfortably accommodates a family of four. Um, sure. If only a truly substantive indie rock could be likened to sedan, but for those of you who have made it this far into my synopsis, I think you get my drift. In a nutshell, had the Arcades taken a more modest tact, they just might be on the same wavelength as Ghost Shirt.

Robust, but unencumbered, opulent, yet economical, Ghost Shirt’s Domestique doesn’t merely strike the proper “balance,” it downright charms, woos, and dazzles anyone within earshot who possesses an affection for bright, lucid guitar pop tethered to briskly pulsating tempos. Operating as a quartet without extraneous accompaniment, pretentious overtones and baroque eccentricities aren’t even a consideration here. Samantha Kim’s sweeping violin fills, featured prominently on several tracks, embellish the arrangements without overpowering them. In fact, the strings are merely a winsome backdrop, as are the swarming synths that occupy “Sleep,” a number which rings reminiscent of Julian Casablanca’s recent solo dabbling. Ghost Shirt’s most intoxicating and buoyant selections play out during the first half of Domestique, with the overall tenor of the album easing into a comparatively serene home stretch. Though not consistently fervent, Domestique is consistently palatable. Listen to “Zanne” and “History of the Radio” for material evidence. I should also mention that if Domestique is to your liking, there’s plenty more where this came from, with G/S releasing a “single” per week online for an entire year. At last count they were up to 26.

Domestique is available from Insound, Amazon, and more digital retailers than you can shake a stick at.
- WIllfully Obscure Music Blog

"See you There"

Are you tired of all the senseless squirt gun assaults, the vicious pussy willow beatings, and endless krupnik and Polish beer? Okay, I’m not either, but there is an interesting alternative, unofficial Dyngus Day celebration this year at Mohawk Place on Monday (April 5). Ghost Shirt is kind of like the Pixies crossed with Roy Orbison and a violin. Sound good? Well, it is, and you can investigate further on your own thanks to Ghost Shirt’s strong work ethic and taste for releasing music in the modern age. The quartet of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Branden Barnett, violinist/vocalist Samantha Kim, bassist Ryan Haye, and drummer David “Murph” Murphy are in the midst of releasing 52 songs in 52 weeks: a new song every single week through the next year. You can follow and download Ghost Shirt’s progress at the excellent music blog The band is up to #12 and this current run of online singles from #11-21 will constitute the tracks of the band’s second release Domestique (Anyway Records) due in July. Ghost Shirt’s good pal and fellow Columbus-based artist Micah Schnabel joins in, too. Schnabel—no stranger to the Mohawk Place and Western New York rock fans—takes a break from his usual duties playing guitar and singing in the band Two Cow Garage for a set highlighting his recent solo record, When the Stage Lights Go Dim (Suburban Home). Buffalo good old boy Roger Bryan and his band the Orphans support with their usual fuzzy, dusted-up melodicism and unbridled three-guitar attack.

Read more: - Artvoice Buffalo, NY

"The year in Music top 20"

Ghost Shirt
With the release of a pair of albums and more than two dozen singles online in 2010, this Columbus, Ohio quartet has an admirable work ethic. That alone wouldn’t be enough to make this list, but luckily guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Branden Barnett, violinist/vocalist Samantha Kim, bassist Ryan Haye, and drummer David “Murph” Murphy earn the spot thanks to their skewered, deconstructed indie pop. (dk)

Read more: - Artvoice Buffalo, NY

"The're still Cranking Them Out"

They’re still cranking them out

Another season, another Ghost Shirt record. At least, that’s how it seems.

It was just a few months ago that we got the band’s debut full-length CD, Domestique, on Anyway Records. Meanwhile, throughout 2010, Ghost Shirt has been pumping out single after single for its “52 Singles in 52 Weeks” project.

And now, another album, Daniel—which, by the way, counts toward that “52 Singles” endeavor. You’d think the quality of songs would start diminishing, but this is the best batch of Ghost Shirt tunes yet, all of them written, recorded, mixed and mastered by the band. (The strings and horns are courtesy of the Pickerington High School Central Orchestra, whose director is band violinist Sam Kim.)

Daniel is a concept album of sorts, and its 10 songs sound like someone sifting through a lot of junk. There are big highs and big lows, but the lows outweigh the highs. It’s Ghost Shirt’s darkest, most cathartic collection to date.

You probably could get the full story behind the album from singer Branden Barnett, and it likely would enhance Daniel’s depth and gravitas on repeated listens. But even without knowing anything about Barnett or the rest of Ghost Shirt, the songs resonate.

They’re passionate. They’re real, and full of real people (who may or may not be named Daniel). The acoustic ballads are heartbreaking; the up-tempo rockers are invigorating.

At times, it sounds like Barnett is trying to convince himself of would-be truths, but over the course of a song, he gives in to his misgivings.

“I feel alright,” he sings halfheartedly on the title track, but admits in the coda, “We are too old to pretend/Too young to understand/Too heartbroken to begin.” On “Devils,” he begins by professing his love for a new apartment (“I see the city/It’s always quiet”), but in the end he can’t keep up appearances: “I love my new apartment/We used to have nothing/Now we have less.”

I could fill a whole review recounting this record’s quotable lines, all of which are buoyed by memorable melodies. Daniel is a document of a band that was already very good getting even better.

You can purchase a digital download from for $1 (or more if you’d like).

- The Other Paper, Columbus, Oh

"Your New Favorite Band: Ghost Shirt"

I distinctly remember my first time hearing this band. It was late last year, the song was "History Of The Radio," and 30 seconds in I went Kool-Aid man onto the Ghost Shirt bandwagon. I immediately played "Radio" again, just to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. I've had this experience with 3 (now 4) songs:

* Beatles, Happiness Is A Warm Gun
* Flaming Lips, Five Stop Mother Superior Rain
* Teenage Fanclub, The Concept

Who has the balls, let alone talent, to join that triumvirate of awesome??? Five songs into their career and they're already in the pantheon.

Ghost Shirt - History Of The Radio [eMusic]

Half this song swallows you up with Spector/Bowie claustrophobia, screeching violin, distorted guitar, keyboard drone, and murmurs of noise all fighting for space. The other half of the song can't decide whether it wants to be Astral Weeks or Fisherman's Blues. Yeah, good problem to have. My only complaint is that Murphy's great drumming is a bit lost in the wash, but I think part of that is being in the mp3 era. I expect this to be corrected on the eventual vinyl release. Buy this EP for "Radio" and "Steam Engine" alone.

L-R: Kim, Murphy, Barnett,Haye

Ghost Shirt - WOLFPACK!!! (4 of 52)

Ghost Shirt - Two Cow Garage (6 of 52)

These are the 4th and 6th singles, respectively, in Ghost Shirt's ambitious 52 Singles in 52 Weeks project (more in a sec). The first song pays tribute to Buffalo's Roger Bryan & The Orphans, whose 2009 album was entitled, Wolves. The second song is an homage to Columbus homeboys, TCG, and

Dig this. These crazy mofos from Columbus, Ohio, set themselves the needlessly impossible task of releasing a new single every week this year. If you're like me, you think that maybe on paper that's a great idea. In reality, serious filler potential. Most bands can't write 3 good songs in a year. Ghost Shirt is aiming for 52?!?! But, here we are in April, I have 17 songs by this band on my hard drive, and maybe 2 are meh, 3-4 are good but not great, the rest (around 10) are as good or a hair below these 3 songs.

Oh, and aside from the EP .. . which you really need to buy ... all these songs
are FREE! Fuck yeah, flapjack. Furthermore, from Camp Ghost Shirt:

You guys been staying up on these singles? If not, start catching up now. Branden said at the beginning of this "52 Singles in 52 Weeks" project that he wanted each single to be just that -- a single. And that’s pretty much held true so far. Already a lot of gems among these 12.

Here's another new twist to the project. Last week's single (#11 "homeiswhereyouare") through #21 is going to be a complete album (which means #12 up there is also track 2). So, keep up with the singles on Donewaiting the next 10 weeks and you'll have a new Ghost Shirt record. All the tracks run together, and violinist Sam Kim is composing some orchestral breaks, too. Once all 10 tracks are released, it's going to be mastered and digitally repackaged with artwork and such. The sound is a bit different than the Ghost Shirt you're used to -- as Branden says, it's more "weird and noisy."

AND...That's actually Ghost Shirt's second album, the first of which, Domestique, will be out on Anyway Records in May or June (with niiice artwork; cover above). You can now stream that album on the band's Facebook fan page.

Get in now, friends. This band has all the ingredients for a Neutral Milk Hotel/Pixies circa Surfer Rosa type breakout. Beyond that, who knows? I tell you what. Mild hyperbole aside, I'll settle for vinyl versions of these DLs. - Adios Lounge

"Ghost Shirt resurrects the hook"

Toss the word 'pop' into rock circles and watch musicians scatter, hoping to avoid the shiny shrapnel.

Then there's Ghost Shirt, a band happy to stomp on the musical landmine with a smile.

Long an incubator for grunge punk acts, alt-country throwbacks, and what front man Branden Barnett calls "art noise," Columbus is getting a new hook.

"I don't want to be confrontational, because a lot of my friends are in those bands - I think you need both," he said of local acts that have made some noise by . . . making noise. "But, it's very under-represented and almost shameful in Columbus to be poppy. I think it's completely ridiculous."

"I think you can write a really good pop song and dress it up in interesting clothes without being pretentious about it."

Pop certainly suits the state of mind for Ghost Shirt, the incestuous offspring of fragmented Columbus bands The Shatters and The Judas Cow, and a dream project for Barnett.

Writing songs on his own for the last two years, Barnett got some inspiration from Samantha Kim, a classical violinist, who after a chance encounter at the Tree House, was soon working with Barnett on arrangements. Barnett had the rest of his preferred lineup already mapped out; he just had to wait for longtime friends Ryan Haye (bass) and Dave "Murph" Murphy (drums) to become available.

Since then, Ghost Shirt has barely even unplugged. They set up residence at the Tree House for months, piecing their sound together throughout a string of local shows, and new songs quickly were added to Barnett's originals.

Then, in the biggest step in the band's early stages, Shane Sweeney of local force Two Cow Garage scooped the foursome up "in their bosom," as Barnett put it, and took them on the road for a 10-day tour in mid April.

It wasn't "real touring," Barnett said with laugh.

"They booked it, they brought their fans to it, their people were putting us up in hotels, comping us drinks . . . Two Cow, they were literally our Mr. Miyagi."

It was a fortunate break, said Murphy, a veteran of countless local bands.

"In 72 hours, we made contacts that would have taken seven trips on our own," Murphy said.

While being vouched for on tour is a solid show of local support, Barnett said local bands are as much an influence as they are cheerleaders.

Major label 'indie' pop acts like the New Pornographers or Belle and Sebastian are on the band's collective radar, but they say local music by bands like The Whiles, Paper Airplane, and The Kyle Sowashes urges them to further the pop agenda in town.

"There's a lot of local music that I'm pretty affected by," Barnett said. "I almost felt a sense of duty to make something lush, to have these big string arrangements - like Pet Sounds; of course, we'll never sound like Pet Sounds, but it's a good bar."

So, Ghost Shirt isn't carrying the pop flag by themselves, but Barnett - dubbed by his bandmates "Captain Hook" for his sensibilities - certainly wears it on his vintage shirtsleeve. Ghost Shirt's EP, released on April 11, is at once smart and singable. "History of the Radio" swoons in chorus-first, "oh-oh-ohs" in lieu of solos, while "Waitress" and "Sick With Love" could inspire impromptu dance floors and head-nodders alike.

With the Two Cow "bosom" tour, the band hasn't just surpassed the typical trajectory of the average local band; so far, they also seemed to have avoided the jaded cool and fractured relationships that come with it.

"Playing in a lot of bands, it's really hard to find that kind of chemistry," Murphy said. "There's no group of people I'd rather being playing with."

And when you see Ghost Shirt on stage, you get the genuine sense there's no place they would rather be. At this point, the band may be too grateful and eager to have an ego.

They will, more than once, crack a smile on stage; they use the term "best friends" to describe their band mates with not one hint of false modesty. Live, Kim will switch to keyboards, and Murphy plays the Levon role with an occasional crowd-pleasing horn part. Both contribute vocals, with plans for Haye to take the mic in the near future.

"If there's an ego in this band - I haven't seen it," he said.

Being ego-free is not only endearing, it is also good business. Two Cow Garage's Sweeney told Barnett, any band should feel grateful to play their music for people, not entitled to perform.

"Just don't be a jerk," Barnett said. "There are so many good bands, it really is completely dependent on how you treat other people."

A few good hooks won't hurt either.
- 614 Magazine

"Locals Only:Ghost Shirt"

It's a magical thing when the pieces come together just right and a band clicks. Branden Barnett waited for his chance, and his patience was rewarded with Ghost Shirt.

"I had been writing a lot of these songs for years," said Barnett, the singer-guitarist who spent years as a sideman in groups such as country-soul outfit The Shatters.

After The Shatters broke up two years ago, Barnett was too burned out on band stuff to do more than occasionally fill in on guitar for The Whiles. But eventually he got the itch to round up a lineup to play his long-gestating tunes.

"I wanted to select really close friends that I trusted and that I got along with really well," Barnett said. "Before, I've never had a band that wasn't haphazardly thrown together and forced to like each other."

Barnett patiently plucked players from a social circle that revolved around Grandview indie-rock hub The Treehouse, nabbing Judas Cow rhythm section Ryan Haye and David Murphy as well as Treehouse manager Phil Palma on guitar. Sam Kim, a classically trained violinist who had never played in a rock band before, rounded out the lineup.

Ghost Shirt played its first show last September and immediately went on a rampage, playing as many shows as possible around Columbus. They've kept up a steady pace, even as Palma recently exited due to commitments with The Treehouse.

From the beginning, it was clear this new endeavor was a step up from the players' previous projects. Barnett's bandmates bathed his dignified folk-rock tunes with widescreen grandeur, like Arcade Fire come back down to Earth. It's rough enough to appeal to the Americana crowd but sufficiently epic for fans of more majestic fare.

Among the band's earliest supporters were hard-touring Columbus roots-rockers Two Cow Garage. This week, Two Cow allowed Ghost Shirt to join them on tour for the new band's first shows out of town.

"It was handed to us on a golden paper plate," Murphy said.

The invite hinged on one condition, Haye explained: "Shane [Sweeney] made me promise that we would follow this up with another one."

First things first, though. Ghost Shirt will celebrate their return Saturday with a show at The Summit, where they'll release a four-song EP to preview their upcoming debut album. Barnett hopes the record will help build a buzz outside Columbus for something besides the abrasive "shitgaze" sounds that have won international attention in recent years.

"I just get so tired of Columbus being about the new movement of noisy nothingness," he said. "I think bands like us and The Whiles, we definitely feel like we're sort of bonded together. We write melodic pop songs that are interesting, and we're almost trying to move away from that as a unit. With the friends that we play with, everybody definitely says it out loud. We feel the connection with going back to writing good songs again."

- Columbus Alive

"A preview of whats to come"

A preview of what's to come

Ghost Shirt has been around only since September, but the band has already caused quite a stir, playing shows as much as humanly possible (especially at the Treehouse) and handing out a 10-song demo that felt like much more than a demo.

Led by the golden-voiced Branden Barnett (formerly of the Shatters), Ghost Shirt uses killer hooks, guy-girl harmonies, beautiful string arrangements and some good ol’ distorted guitar to craft songs that veer from chamber-pop to power pop. And the band’s captivating stage show brings to mind other local acts like Two Cow Garage (a band Ghost Shirt recently toured with) and Miranda Sound (R.I.P.).

Its new EP, which serves as the preview of an upcoming full-length, mostly captures all that good stuff. I say “mostly” because in trading in demo quality for a more professionally mixed, crisp recording, a couple of the songs lose some of the raw vigor that the demo captured in their more spontaneous state. At times, the EP feels almost too slick. I also look forward to hearing what the band does with Barnett’s gentler, acoustic tunes.

But those are minor, contextual quibbles. “Steam Engine” still feels plenty propulsive, Sam Kim’s violin melodies sparkle (especially on the “Sick with Love” outro), and the rhythm section does everything a rhythm section should.

Be warned: If you pick up this EP, you’ll have no choice but to get the full album when it comes out.

- The Other Paper

"Ghost Shirt The Summit"

Ghost Shirt. Amazing. To see what this band has done and become in less than a year is nothing short of impressive. When they started all they had was a bag of decent songs. Everything else about them was "quirky." On the surface, each member didn't make sense and probably didn't belong with the other members. In the short time they've been playing, they've managed to gell into something where they can't possibly do without each other. It wouldn't be as good. But they had songs. And it seems every member of this band has made the songs the most important factor of playing together, and in doing that, they've each made themselves the most important ingredient of the band. This is one of the most key factors on what makes any band a great band. Brandon Barnett is the unlikeliest of "front man" material, and looks like he should be playing rugby instead of playing guitar and singing some of the best songs this town, or any town for that matter, has to offer. He's an incredible personality on stage and delivers his songs with conviction, confidence and passion. In fact, that's the key word for this band - passion. Sam, the sweet singing violinist is the equivalent to what pyrotechnics is to KISS. She just lights up the entire stage, the entire room and probably the entire planet with just her personality, let alone her heart felt, incredible playing and singing. Murph, the drummer is not just the engine behind the band - he's also the wheels, the shiny candy apple finish and the driver of the whole vehicle. A band can only be as good as their drummer, and with Murph behind the wheel, this band can be as good as they wish to be. His drumming was spot on, his backing vocals are a key ingredient and his trumpet playing is just tasty frosting on an already delicious cake. Ryan the bass player is the thread that manages to stitch everyone elses parts together. His minimalist approach gives just enough bedrock to the whole thing so all the other quirky parts fit together right. Too much playing would step on all the other toes. Not enough playing leaves too many holes and makes the other parts not work as well together. That's a thin line to walk in a band that has so many things going at any given time. And he brings a nice entertaining energy to the proceedings. Ghost Shirt has proven what a band can do in what seems like a million shows in less than a year with a cast of the most unlikely of characters that you would find together. The band, their music and songs are 110% original. There's nothing like it. What this band has done "underground" for the past year has now risen above ground, and the sky is the limit.


"Micah Schnabel/Shane Sweeney/Ghost Shirt/Marty Finkel; April 9, 2009; Kiki’s House of Righteous Music"

Both of them told me several times how much I was going to like Ghost Shirt, so it really wasn’t a much of a surprise when I did. A distinctive group of characters, they could have been drawn by Hanna Barbera for a Saturday morning children’s cartoon- gorgeous voiced Branden who looked like a Grizzly but was really a Teddy Bear, wise-cracking, curly-haired drummer Murph, tiny violinist Sam drunk on one glass of wine, and quiet bassist Ryan. They had the van, all they needed was a talking dog before they started solving mysteries. A relatively new band, the only merch Ghost Shirt brought with them was a free EP, which was too bad, because we all agreed a Ghost Shirt shirt would be pretty cool. I’m pretty sure no one has ever been happier to be here.
- Punk Rock Skunk


2009: Ghost Shirt EP
2010: Domestique - Anyway Records
Spring 2011 - Daniel - This is American Music



Ghost Shirt is a four-piece band from Columbus, Oh that plays crunchy, sing-along chamber/power pop. It is fronted by songwriter/guitarist Branden Barnett and violin player/vocalist Samantha Kim. David Murphy on drums and Ryan Haye on Bass round out the rhythm section. Lance Davis, chief editor of The Audios Lounge Blog (Austin, TX) said " I distinctly remember my first time hearing this band. It was late last year, the song was "History Of The Radio," and 30 seconds in I went Kool-Aid man onto the Ghost Shirt bandwagon. I immediately played "Radio" again, just to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. I've had this experience with 3 (now 4) songs:
Beatles, Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Flaming Lips, Five Stop Mother Superior Rain
Teenage Fanclub, The Concept
Who has the balls, let alone talent, to join that triumvirate of awesome??? Five songs into their career and they're already in the pantheon." Chris Deville of The Other Paper (Columbus, Ohio) describes the band as "the arcade fire come back down to earth."

To clarify, Ghost Shirt has been around for two years and in that short amount of time they have earned themselves a reputation for ferocious live performances (voted best live band in Columbus, Ohio 2009 Other Paper poll) along with a seemingly tireless schedule of writing and recording songs. Ghost Shirt recently finished a year-long project to write, record and release 52 Singles in 2010 that was featured on the music blog. The singles are currently being mastered with a planned release on bandcamp (name your price) in February. The band just finished their fourth extensive US tour with NPR World Cafe featured artist Two Cow Garage. Currently, Ghost Shirt is booking shows all over the USA in support of their upcoming second LP "Daniel" due out in March 2011 on This is American Music Records (vinyl and mp3).

After Domestique, the band's debut LP, made best of 2010 lists on willfully obscure blog, audios lounge blog, Columbus Alive and Art Voice Weekly(Buffalo, Ny) the band aims to send it's sophmore LP "Daniel" up there with it through a 150 to 200 date tour schedule in 2011.