Ghost Town Girl, the new album from Echo Sparks, begins with "Broken Arrow," a song that is probably best described as pretty. This song features great harmony vocals that bring to mind the male-female duos of the past. The female vocal part takes the song to a whole new level of pretty. In addition to the great vocals, this song also features some great instrumentation from the twangy guitar to the organ to the upright-bass line that serves as the backbone of the song. This song is a great introduction to the band, that has plenty more pretty songs in store on the rest of the album.
"End of the Line" begins with just vocals and guitar and the vocals are amazingly sweet and folksy. It's hard not to think about Joni Mitchell when you listen to this song. Not that the vocals sound like Mitchell throughout the song, but there are some vocal trills that definitely spark thoughts of Joni Mitchell.
If you like to do some two stepping, "Princess of Fresno" is the song for you. Do yourself a favor when you listen to this one in your house, and move the furniture out of the way. (Hey, it's your house. You can do with it as you please.) You're going to need the space because this song will get you two-stepping in whatever space you have. Mind you, you don't have to spread sawdust on your floors to make the dancing easier, but you will need the space.
From one song to the next, the band alters its sound somewhat. After "Princess of Fresno" is a song called "Mexican Moon". This is reminiscent of the spacey Bakersfield sound that Gram Parsons created. And isn't there just something about country songs about Mexico? You could probably make a pretty good playlist just of songs in that vein.
If you're someone who tries to think about the perfect setting for listening a band, this one will definitely provoke some thought. However, the best way to break that issue down is to say that a lot of settings are perfect for listening to this album. It would be good for a road trip, a night of dancing, or a lazy Sunday morning while you're drinking coffee and perusing the news. That says something about the band. If you've been looking for a new album for any of those settings - or if you just want a really good Americana album- add Ghost Town Girl to your collection. The album will be available in late January.