Building off the “lonesome stranger” aura of their last single “Drifter,” Boston’s smokey Americana/ traditional folk-bluegrass trio, The Old North, is ready to release their Ghost EP.
The four-song EP picks up where “Drifter” left off, containing catchy tunes about love, heartbreak, and the metaphorical dance of life, using the backbone of historical fiction as a catalyst for inspiration.
“Southbound” follows the story of a death row inmate lamenting and reliving his days as an outlaw while the melodic gypsy jazz instrumentation has room to play. As as he plays the part of an old train robber, frontman Andrew O’Keeffe’s voice is equal parts raspy ecstasy and passionate torment. The track romanticizes the Old West while light-heartedly shedding light on its many burdens.
Similar in feeling is “Wild Ways,” an excitable blues-country ditty about leaving a life of lawlessness for a mysterious love. What’s genius about the song is it could once again take place during the American Frontier, or a modern cityscape. The Old North leaves it vague enough for the listener to decide.
“Starling” is about making the most out of the unfamiliar situations life has a tendency to throw at you. It’s a bouncing slow-burn with a relatable message—after a little self-reflection, any bleak situation is an opportunity to grow as a human being. The melodic piano here from guest musician, Aaron SaidiZand, is subtle but a standout moment on Ghost.
The final and title track “Ghost” is just as ethereal as its name suggests, utilizing the haunting atmosphere of the fiddle, played by Eddie Dickerson, to ground you in a forlorn folk melancholy. It’s easily the most vulnerable track on the EP, about an abrupt end to a relationship.
The Ghost EP is another stepping stone for The Old North, conveying the collective maturity and confidence of a band carefully honing out their songwriting craft. The Old North also has plans to release two singles and another EP in 2022.