Interview: The Sound of Ghosts Discuss New EP 'Delivery and Departure', Tour
Photo by Carrie Carnevale and used with permission

Still riding high from the success of last year’s debut, Come Home, L.A.-based band The Sound of Ghosts is set to release their brand-new EP, Delivery and Departure. The band, which includes the charismatic Anna Orbison (vocals) along with James Orbison (upright bass, lead vocals), Ernesto Rivas (guitar), Jon Sarna (drums) and Phoebe Silva (violin/mandolin), has already built a solid, southern California following with its eclectic mix of folk, pop and Americana rock and is now set to embark on its first tour of the Pacific Northwest which will take them to places like Salem, Ore. and Tacoma, Wash..

AXS recently spoke with The Sounds of Ghosts about Delivery and Departure and more in this exclusive new interview.

How would describe Delivery and Departure as it compares to some of the band’s previous work?

Anna Orbison: We’ve always experimented with a wide variety of sounds within the umbrella of Americana, but we took that even further with this album. We pull in elements of rock, folk, Dixieland, country and even a little Doo-Wop. I think listeners will find that they’re not quite sure what the next song will sound like as they listen to the album, and that makes it really fun for us, and hopefully is for them too [laughs]!

James Orbison: I think that’s the beauty of what we try to do as a band. Whether it’s pulling from music we love or have played in the past we’re always trying to craft our own niche and mature as a band.

Phoebe Silva: It's been liberating to push the limits of what we're able to do and find some new inspiration. We’re playing with a lot more genre influences including jazz, folk pop, and country. 

Jon Sarna: I think the new album is a book end to Come Home. You can hear our original sound while still hearing a band maturing and trying new sounds.

How has the band’s songwriting process evolved since Come Home ?

Ernesto Rivas: After Come Home was recorded we were all listening to different things that inspired us. It changed the thought process behind ideas for songs.

AO: While we all enjoy creating as a group Ernesto and I really found a songwriting groove with Delivery and Departure. A few of the songs began as ideas that I had and Ernesto helped form them into a song, and a few of the songs Ernesto came up with and I wrote the melody and lyrics to. 

Let’s talk about a few tracks from the Delivery and Departure, starting with “Open Road.”

ER: The riff and main idea was originally acoustic-based and ended being one of the most rocking tunes in our catalog.

AO: When we heard Ernesto’s original idea, James and I right away thought about listening to it on a road trip up the coast. So, we decided to write the song about that.

Check out the video for "Open Road" by clicking here.

Dancing Shoes

ER: The music and arrangement for that song was heavily influenced by a combination of listening to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, watching “Back to the Future” and a love for Fifties Doo-Wop.

JO: With this song, I think we’re stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new. Adding some new instruments and harmonies gave it this old school feel while still staying in our wheelhouse and growing our sound.

Perfect Pair

JO: Sometimes simplicity is best and that’s something I really love about this song. We tend to write songs that are in weird keys and have multiple parts but with “Perfect Pair”, we really wanted to make something simple and catchy. And with Anna and I being married it was really cool to take a different look at what a love song could be.

What was the recording process like?

PS: We spent three days at Kona Inn recording and knocked out all seven tracks. Four of the new songs we've been playing live for a year or more, so we've really shaped the arrangements in performance. It was a great experience. 

JS: The recording process this time around was a lot more smooth and relaxed. We learned a lot on the first record and went into this one with a better game plan of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it.

JO: We put our heart and soul into everything we do and I think that it really shows with this collection of songs. Mike and Jeff at Kona Inn Recording were awesome and did a great job of making it all happen.

What excites you the most about this next phase of the band’s career?

ER: Reaching new fans and visiting new cities. Our goal has always been to get out to the masses.

JS: I think what I'm most excited about are our live shows and the continued development of our sound. Because we have a lot of styles going on, we can do a lot of different things and not necessarily be tied to one specific sound.

AO: We love meeting people and playing new places, so we are really excited about this tour! We also love connecting with local musicians in other areas. It’s so important for artists to support each other. We always love playing with new people and supporting other bands with what they’re trying to accomplish. 

The Sound of Ghosts Tour Dates:

Aug. 5: San Luis Obispo, CA - Frog and Peach
Aug. 6: Pacifica, CA -  Winter’s Tavern
Aug. 7: Florence, OR - Private Show
Aug. 8: Salem, OR - The Space
Aug. 9: Portland, OR - The Analog
Aug. 10: Tacoma, WA - Swiss Pup
Aug. 11: Eugene, OR - Black Forest
Aug. 12: Arcata, CA - Redwood Curtain Brewing Company
Aug. 13: San Luis Obispo, CA - Bang the Drum