Each year now since 2011, I have looked forward to Halloween not for horror movie marathons nor dressing up and partying (although I do love both of those things), but for the annual Marshmallow Ghosts release from Graveface Records & Curiosities. I remember when I first happened upon The Marshmallow Ghosts’ full-length album review on Consequence of Sound shortly before Halloween of 2011, it was completely by accident. Those days, as a sophomore in college involved in radio, I supplemented my ever-evolving music taste by trolling music websites like COS and Pitchfork. I remember being completely entranced by the idea of ‘Halloween Music’, and from there I was able to fill my computer’s hard drive with many other Halloween-centric music ranging from the always-reliable Gorilla Vs. Bear Halloween Mix and another one of my personal favorites: Dead Man’s Bones’ sole album (which if you didn’t know, is Ryan Gosling’s band). However, that review prompted me to track down and pirate The Marshmallow Ghosts’ album on the spot, which if I remember correctly, was in the middle of class.
Now before we argue about the ethics of pirating, I would like to note that when I happened upon Graveface’s stand at the Annual Pitchfork Music Festival the following year, I promptly bought the album on vinyl, a beautiful orange with purple streaks, packaged with an equally fun movie, ‘Corpse Reviver No. 2’. I would alos like to note that Ryan Graveface, the head of it all, is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, and I look forward to chatting with him every year at the festival. After I tracked down the other releases by the Ghosts and I actually realized it was an annual thing, I was hooked. Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to back their indiegogo campaign and in return I got a beautiful limited edition ten-inch featuring two new songs, and this year I had another opportunity and backed their kickstarter.
This year I will be receiving an awesome seven-inch for my backing that includes a 24-page storybook (!). The seven-inch, appropriately titled Corpse River No. 1, is everything you can come to expect from the premier Halloween house band. We backers were graciously provided with a download of the seven-inch prior to the arrival of the physical copy, and it definitely delivers. Now if you don’t know, the MGs are essentially Graveface’s house band, and as such are made up of different members of the various acts on the label (which led me to a lot of other great bands on Graveface, like The Casket Girls). It fits in with the rest of the catalogue of dreamy, creepy music interspersed with some choice creepy sound clips. Saying it ‘fits in’ does no disservice and is perfectly essential to the rest of the catalogue. Especially great is the second song, “A Long Day At The End of the World”, which is amazing when it picks up in the middle of the song with a sense of urgency that demands your attention differently than other MG songs. Also present are the previously mentioned sound bytes, this time seemingly from news reports of found human remains.
I definitely recommend tracking down this release as well as the back catalogue of the MGs when you can. The dreamy music of the Ghosts’ perfectly suited for all times of the year, but I have always found it works best on a nice autumn stroll. The notes just seem to agree with crisp air, almost begging for the something to jump out. Three of the releases are currently available for digital purchase on Graveface’s Bandcamp currently, and for fair prices, but if you can track down the other releases, which I definitely suggest, you won’t be disappointed. Also available are some physical copies as well as digital files at their online shop.