Hungry, Hungry Ghost
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Hungry, Hungry Ghost

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Rock




"Music Review: Hungry, Hungry Ghost - Sleeping English"

Who is Alex Haager?
Such a question deserves to be asked by all, just like we all once found ourselves inquiring “Who is Darkman?” “What is The Matrix?” or “Are you going to finish that?”
Haager has definitely done a bit of traveling. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, the young musician no doubt felt the urge to break away from a land known for its hurricanes, biased voting, and orange groves and took an extended four-year holiday in Berlin, Germany. There, Alex began recording with two native musicians, Sven Flesch and Sebastian Nehen — and, for all intent and purpose, Hungry, Hungry Ghost (not to be confused with goth group The Hungry Ghost) was born.
Referring to themselves as “the first and only post-indie transcendentalist punk band in the world,” Hungry, Hungry Ghost brings a certain raw and youthful feel (in a 60s sort of way) to their decidedly mature lyrics and work.
Their first album, Sleeping English, was originally released in Germany in late 2007, but was ultimately unsuccessful in gaining any major recognition due to some bad distribution and publicity. Fear not, good folk, because Sleeping English is finally receiving a stateside debut via the indie label Infinite Best Recording. Tracks include (but are not limited to) opening charmer “Hundred Yard Reach” (“I just want away from the shackles of TV and the things they want from me”), the title track “Sleeping English” (“Can they not hear us yet? We‘re sleeping English”), and several other noteworthy compositions, “Blind,” “Bonhauser Allee (Don’t Know The Words),” “Escape To Witch MTN” and “We Are Melting.”
Also available with Sleeping English is a digital release of a new Hungry, Hungry Ghost EP, Cycloptic Myopia. The EP is included with the new re-release of Sleeping English and contains four recent tracks, “The Stark Quarry,” “Breathing Animals,” “Ain’t Life,” and “Lightning Falcon.”
If I had to describe Hungry, Hungry Ghost’s Sleeping English in ten words or less, said ten words would consist of: “like a beautiful, slightly angst-filled day by the lake.” I enjoyed listening to these works, and look forward to their next album.
- Blogcritics

"Hungry Hungry Ghost"

Hungry, Hungry Ghost is re-releasing their Sleeping English album, and if you buy it on Insound, it comes with a digital download for new EP, Cycloptic Myopia! If you’re a fan of Beulah or Wayne Coine-inspired pop, these guys are for you. - Flux Rad

"[CD Review] Hungry, Hungry Ghost, 'Sleeping English' (Infinite Best)"

There’s a certain joy of discovery in first listening to Hungry, Hungry Ghost, possibly because Alex Haager brings such an innocent, immaculate vibe to his recording project. He displays all the youthful nonchalance of twee and indie rock but seals it with grown-up production values, making for starry-eyed, breathy-voiced pop complete with cuddly synths, handclaps and horns. Originally from Florida, Haager crafted this lush debut with a pair of collaborators at the tender age of 21 while living in Berlin, Germany. Released there in 2007, Sleeping English is only now getting the stateside release it deserves.

The soothing opener “Hundred Yard Reach” succeeds right away with priceless vocal harmonies and dreamy instrumentation—rivaled in charm only by the title track, which neatly sets worried lyrics against lackadaisical singing and guitar. Harmonies pop up again alongside accordion and roller-rink organ on “Escape to Witch Mtn.,” and Haager’s tentative, even shy delivery on “Blind” is offset by the elastic synth-pop of “Exploder,” which finishes with a celebratory racket and a distinctly danceable tail. The closing “We Are Melting!” mingles jumbled snare, a fleeting hip-hop beat and the winning phrase “Let’s build a tunnel from my brain into your heart.” (Mission accomplished.)

Now based in Brooklyn, Haager has since recorded the Cyclopic Myopia EP, also worth tracking down. On it, he plays everything himself and sounds more confident (but no less huggable). The EP’s “Breathing Animals” could be his breakthrough, provided it falls into the right blog’s hands. All of this praise might seem like a bit much, but that’s the effect Haager and Hungry, Hungry Ghost can have on unsuspecting listeners. In fact, BaDaBing Records employee Hunter Giles was inspired to start his own label just to release Sleeping English. It’s hard to think of a better recommendation than that. - OC Weekly

"Hungry, Hungry Ghost: 'Breathing Animals'"

March 10, 2009 - After spending four years living and recording music in Berlin, Hungry, Hungry Ghost frontman Alex Haager currently lives in Brooklyn, which he has dubbed "the suburbia-disillusioned kid's dream." Though this Tampa, Fla. native certainly appreciates living in such diverse environments, Haager believes in a kind of "forced isolation" when it comes to writing and recording music, citing that his current geographical location is ultimately irrelevant, since he has written and recorded from his home since he was a kid. Haager recorded the Cycloptic Myopia EP in an apartment in Berlin with the help of Sven and Sebastian, two German musicians Haager met while playing non-electric shows in the area.

Sick of the genre-labeling game, Haager has ironically branded his music "post-indie transcendentalist punk." Though the term is certainly tongue-in-cheek, there is an element of seriousness backing the claim. Haager says that after initially being annoyed at the mainstreaming of the indie lifestyle by the likes of H&M and major record labels, he realized how silly the whole thing was and coined the aforementioned genre title "mostly just for kicks."

That said, Hungry, Hungry Ghost makes music that effectively captures the intimacy inherent in the recording process and conveys a sound that is surprisingly polished and fleshed out, with a wide assortment of instruments and sound effects, from the ukulele, to bells, to trumpets, to the occasional synthesizer. With a sound that Haager describes as "simultaneously energetic and lethargic," Cycloptic Myopia sounds a bit like fellow Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear gone a bit twee.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast. - NPR

"NBI in the Kulturbrauerei presents HUNGRY, HUNGRY GHOST Tonight at 9:30pm"

This young indie rock band from Berlin will indulge you with danceable rhythms and melodic sounds a la David Bowie. He was namely not only a big idol of theirs, but also an influence.

August 22nd 2007

(translation from German) - STAR FM (Germany)

"Hungry, Hungry Ghost // a definite recommendation"

The so-called Hungry, Hungry Ghost is amde up of five Berliners who conjure up sounds which lie somewhere in between post-something, indie pop, folk, experimental and clumsiness. They describe their music as "transcendentalist punk / post-indie". Whatever. It's simply captivating. But please read/hear for yourselves.
Now Hungry, Hungry Ghost and the self-titled EP which was released in May of this year are both up to date. Three songs and barely eleven minutes, they delight and everything else except appall.

August 2007

(translated from German) -

"Hungry, Hungry Ghost"

Pack something in your bags to eat on July 23rd - to feed HUNGRY, HUNGRY GHOST. As compensation you will receive Indie-Pop a la Belle & Sebastian. They are adorable and quirky and when they hit the glockenspiel, you will notice that you have discovered your new favorite band this evening.

July 2008

(translated from German) -

"Hungry Hungry Ghost // Sa. 26.07.,20H, RASTSTAETTE"

Hungry, Hungry Ghost is a five-headed Post-Indie-Rock-Band from Berlin with members whose roots lie in the USA, Endland and North Rhine Westphalia. They have already played in numerous bands until theyre paths coincidentally crossed in a hotel bar in Berlin. They then rented a shared apartment in Berlin-Moabit and founded the band Hungry, Hungry Ghost. With the help of different guest musicians, they recorded their debut album SLEEPING ENGLISH last year in their home studio and released it on their own label Widerheim.

Hungry, Hungry Ghost play Folk-Pop, reminiscent of The Shins, Wilco or Bright Eyes and they combine this with psychedelic sounds and melodic, sunny harmonies, influenced by the Beatles, Beach Boys and 60s sounds.

July 2008

(translated from German) -

"Berlin Today: Concert // Hungry, Hungry Ghost"

This five headed American English German quite internationally occupied Neo-Psych-Band is stationed in Berlin and apparently still living in a shared apartment in Moabit. Hungry, Hungry Ghost (main band in picture) has released with SLEEPING ENGLISH a debut album doesn't need to hide behind genre-bigs like Caribou or the Flaming Lips. The lightly diminishing falsetto vox gives the folky melodies, pyschedelic sounds and sunny harmonies that certain something.

July 2008

(translated from German) - Berliner Zeitung (Germany)

"Hungry Hungry Ghost / The Magpie"

Indie number “The Magpie” was written by Hungry Hungry Ghost, a band whose members are all currently based in the Moabit district of Berlin. They regard their music as an assault on the tedium of everyday life and model themselves on the catchy sounds of Huey Lewis, whose 80s records they believe have never been bettered.

February 2008 -

"Hungry, Hungry Ghost / Admiralspalast Berlin"

What should one think of a band whose members dream of having jobs like tram driver, dinosaur hunter or worker in a marzipan factory? And who describes their music as post-indie-transcendentalist-punk?

At some wedding or another in Chicago, Wim Wenders introduced the three founding members of Hungry, Hungry Ghost. Apparently he also advised them to move to one of the most pulsing metropolises in Europe - Berlin - so they could soak up the energy of the city and let it flow into their music.

So they then got a shared apartment together in Moabit in Berlin and recorded their debut album Sleeping English there. Their label Widerheim was created specifically for this task. (editor's note: that is not true.)

October 2008

(translated from German) -

"Hungry, Hungry Ghost - Sleeping English - Widerheim"

Admittedly, one does have to get a little used to Alex Haager's vocals, which sometimes sound like a snuffy Rufus Wanright. But when this step is overcome you are left with pompous indie-pop in the best meaning of the word, which quickly bites firmly in your heart.
and in the end one asks oneself, why a bigger label than the small, fine indie label widerheim wasn't behind this release.

February 2008

(translated from German) - Intro Magazine


SHINGLE PEELINGS EP - 2007 (digital, Widerheim)
SLEEPING ENGLISH LP - 2009 (CD, Infinite Best)
CYCLOPTIC MYOPIA EP - 2009 (digital, Infinite Best)
I'M GIVING AWAY MY KUNST EP - 2010 (digital, self-released)
O' SPITAL EP - 2011 (digital, self-released)

-Tracks from SLEEPING ENGLISH & CYCLOPTIC MYOPIA have appeared on a few different shows on MTV Canada.
-Numerous tracks from SLEEPING ENGLISH & CYCLOPTIC MYOPIA have been played on German and American radio, including an in-studio live performance at on Fritz! Radio in Berlin/Brandenburg.
-Selected tracks can also be heard on Last.FM and Jango.
-The track "Breathing Animals" was featured on NPR's Second Stage podcast.



This project was born in Berlin across the sea and blossomed into something marvelous, culminating in a small German tour and the decision to move back to the States, where it now resides with new participants in Northern California.

Our influences are probably anything we've ever heard or wanted to hear.

We strive to make music we would want to hear and we hope others find something special in it as well.

With utmost sincerity,

Alex & h,hg