Capable of making you laugh and cry within the same song, John Grant is a very unique songwriting talent.
But then, looking at his back story it's easy to see why. After his group The Czars split up in 2004 the American artist drifted out of the music industry, laid low by the fog of substance abuse.
Battling his way back, 2009's Bella Union endorsed solo effort 'Queen of Denmark' found John Grant looking back on those wasted years from an unusual vantage point. In turns moving and engagingly silly, witty and bluntly spoken, nostalgic and forward facing the album seemed to touch anyone who came within its radius.
Thrust into the spotlight, John Grant took his time preparing a follow up. Experimenting with drum machines and new methods of arrangement, the songwriter was joined by a number of guests for the studio sessions - including Irish artist Sinead O'Connor. Out today (March 11th) 'Pale Green Ghosts' is a wonderful return.
A step on from his solo debut, John Grant is imbued with a profound sense of confidence, a joyful swagger which infects each and every song on the album. We asked John Grant for a track by track guide - what got instead was a comedic, tongue in cheek guide to overcoming critical praise.
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Pale Green Ghosts - This song deals with the horrors of some of our most favorite and Victorian-era maladies such as “rickets” and “the” vapors. Black Belt is an extremely polemic piece about our nation’s melting icecaps and what you can do to help.
GMF is an expose about the out-of-control egos of local news presenters in the United States and how bad reporting and irrelevant information are effecting our nation’s children.
Vietnam tackles “Big Sugar” and wonders what our nation would be like if people didn’t need so much dental work.
It Doesn’t Matter To Him - Remember that whole “weapons of mass destruction” debacle with “Dubya”? Well, this has nothing to do with that. It’s more about what happens when personalities collide in today’s zany virtual world of “luv”.
Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore? - This song was inspired by the story of a wooden boy, which comes to life and then starts lying.
You Don’t Have To - This is the harrowing story of former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno and her struggle to break into the exciting world of break dancing.
Ernest Borgnine - When Ernest Borgnine was married to Ethel Mermon, she once allegedly came home after an audition and excitedly told her husband, “The director says I have the body of a 16-year-old and the face of a 21-year-old!!” “What did he say about your 60-year-old cunt?” inquired Ernest. Without blinking an eye, Ethel replied, “You weren’t mentioned.”
S.N.A.G. - Hook rugs - what happened?
I Hate This Town - This song observes current trends in the anal bleaching sector and poses the question that everyone is thinking but no one wants to ask: “Is this covered by my insurance plan?”
Glacier dares to go where others fear to tread: Should we standardize the names of espresso drinks to avoid further confusion?
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'Pale Green Ghosts' is out now.