Abrasive DIY noise-pop

Ghost Outfit’s Jack Hardman is laughing as he tells Clash about an early gig he and band mate Mike Benson played in their native Manchester. On the number 42 bus from Withington to be exact.

“The driver did look surprised when thirty-five people got on at the same time,” he recalls. “But I imagine compared to the usual Friday night people he’d get, it was quite a sedate thing to have a band playing upstairs.”

Jack and Mike met for the first time at Art College when Jack had been looking for a drummer to join his then three-piece band. “I thought maybe I’ll start asking random people,” he says. “Mike’s completely convinced that I already was aware that he was a drummer and purposefully made it look like fate though.” The two bonded over a mutual penchant for Radiohead and shoegaze acts and decided eventually to become a duo, taking their love for bands like Times New Viking and No Age and scuffing it up into frazzled shapes.

Their 2011 EP ‘Young Ghosts’ was all about electronics and textures, vocals buried deep under layers of hiss, effects and billowing fug with tracks more than often petering off into frayed mists of noise. And while new single ‘Tuesday’ might be a step closer to more intelligible slacker-pop with a fizzing, jangling melody, all that nervous energy is still being strangled by compressed sound. Whatever you do though, just don’t call them lo-fi…

“I don’t like it when people lump us in with that,” says Jack. “You can use lo-fi as a shield and very easily make something that isn’t strong simply by recording it in a fashionable way. I think a lot of bands hide behind that. But we want to push this; it’s about getting the songs perfect.”

Words by Dannii Leivers

What: Abrasive DIY noise-pop
Where: Manchester
Get 3 songs: ‘Tuesday’, ‘I Was Good When I Was Young’, ‘Yeah, It’s You’
Unique Fact: The band used to don “ghost outfits” (read: white bedsheets) and film homemade music videos.

Photography: Samuel John Butt
Photographic assistant: Josh Brown
Styling: Zoe Whitfield

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