Proof of Ghosts
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Proof of Ghosts

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk

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Jul
09
Proof of Ghosts @ Atria Bar & Grill

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Jun
20
Proof of Ghosts @ Not My Dog

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

May
31
Proof of Ghosts @ The Mansion

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


As the name suggests, there's something inherently creepy about Proof Of Ghosts' music. And while it's a sinister undertone that weaves together the 15 tracks on this disc, there's also something celebratory and joyous happening here. The dichotomy may be a nod to the group's history — the project having been conceived during the blackout of 2003 — or it may have something to do with a mysterious familiarity that seems to be present. Take mid-album track "Hey Anna," for example. As principal songwriter Steve Heyerdahl chastises a friend for staying home too much, suggesting she head into town to hang out with Chris, John, Mike and Kelly, you get the inescapable feeling that you know the people he's singing about. It's the same for most of the songs on this disc — an eclectic mix that that moves from folk to alt.country to full-on guitar assault. This album is devastating, humbling and quite an achievement for a debut.

Scott Bryson - Chart Attack


The suburbs are a lonely place. Just ask singer/songwriter Steve Heyerdahl, who sounds like he strolls endless cul-de-sacs with his banjo in hand, singing laments to lost women and odes to the joys of hanging out by the Slurpee machine on a summer Saturday night.

Michael Barclay - K - W Record


Proof of Ghosts sounds organic and spacious, as if they (he, actually, Steve Heyerdahl being the primary performer on the album) set up and played some songs into a tape recorder in a barn. Not to say the production value is that poor, but it is light, leaving room for the eerie undertone permeating the recording….over haunting melodies, at times sounding uneasy, but in big joyous payoff moments, leading the listener to crashing major chord bridges and endings. Pretty.

Nichole Villeneuve - Broken Pencil


The album is perfect for long country drives. It’s trippy, lo-fi, creepy, mysterious, cinematic, sad, happy, beautiful, soothing, intelligent, intense and the list goes on. The best tune, in my opinion, is "I’m Coming Home." It’s simply an amazing, up-tempo song that was given the perfect treatment in the studio, resulting in a tastefully eerie sound. The band chose wisely to start the album with this track. I impatiently await their follow up.

Andre Skinner of Canteen Knockout - The Toronto Star


There was an older, rather drunk gentleman, wearing a bright green Christmas sweater (the kind you only wear on Christmas day to make your mother happy) that was totally enraptured by Proof Of Ghosts' performance. There's no way I could argue against a band that inspires that level of pleasure.

Scott Bryson - Chart Attack


Every so often, though, a song absolutely grabs me…almost attacks me as a matter of fact. When I first heard ‘Genevieve’ by Proof of Ghosts, I couldn’t even figure out why I love it so much. And then, upon further listenings, and maybe too many listenings, I started to realize that it was probably Steve Shoe’s voice. I love the sound of his voice. At once it’s this confident, sort of swaggering kind of vibe, and then immediately thereafter and mixed in between, there’s also this vulnerable little Roger McGuinn Byrds-y kind of vibe.

Craig Norris - CBC Radio 3


The voice of central spectre Steve Shoe is old before its time…and the production fittingly swathes it in near-psychedelic levels of fuzzy fog….When, say, the otherworldly synth line on "Saturday Night in the Summertime" appears, it’s disquieting and arresting, as if layers of moss had been scraped away to reveal something old and dead underneath.

Chris Randle - Eye Weekly


Discography

Vice Sampler CD 14 NUmber 5 track 8 "Genevieve"
Proof of Ghosts S/T (weewerk017)
Davey Jones' Locker EP (CDR release)

*2 new releases in the near future!

Photos

Bio

The ground is dry and there is no rain in sight. In the heat of the 2003 Blackout, the spark that would become Proof of Ghosts ignited. Strangers gathered together by candlelight, with the humid haunted black Toronto skyline against a still blacker sky, and Steve Heyerdahl felt a little less alone in the heart of an ugly city. That simplified and honest experience slowly grew, out of napkin song ideas and basement recording sessions. Proof of Ghosts gradually began to flower and in 2005 Steve began to perform his new songs live.

‘I think I need a hospital to hide in, or at least a nurse to look after my needs’: these opening words of Proof of Ghosts’ ‘Genevieve’ echo the sentiment of John Yossarian, the anti-hero of Catch 22. He sees the madness around him and seeks a retreat to a place where the madness is held at bay. By the same token, Heyerdahl embraced struggle and refuge, healing and nostalgic reverie in Proof of Ghosts’ 2008 self-titled release on (weekwerk) records. Misty-eyed guitars linger over winsome keyboard melodies to spell out stories of a hometown where our hearts return, lament over our inability to seize and halt time, and the contemplative freedom found on the open road.

Inspired by the simplicity of that night in the darkness, Steve has been backed by a rotating cast of musical friends and well-wishers. Nowadays he is regularly joined on stage by his fiancé, visual artist Julia Baird, on keyboards and backing vocals.

Over the years, Proof of Ghosts has shared the bill with MV & EE, Maylee Todd, Bahamas, Slim Twig, Timber Timbre, Wax Mannequin and Do Make Say Think. Looking into the future, Steve and Julia are in the midst of recording the cluster of songs written since the band’s 2008 release. And Proof of Ghosts continues to bring their intimate live performances to whisper sweet sad words into people’s ears and tickle folks down in their toes.

Would sound good on a mixtape with Jim White, Townes Van Zandt, Chad Van Gaalen, Death in June, Kurt Vile and Neil Young.

Proof of Ghosts is: Steve Heyerdahl (lead vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica and percussion) and Julia Baird (keyboards, backing vocals and percussion)