Album Review :: Ghost Woman :: Hindsight is 50/50

Ghost Woman Hindsight is 50/50 album cover. Read felt covered with angel and baby jesus porcelain decorations

by Mykhailo Vil’yamson

If it were possible to audio-capture the coldest brooding glare, the album Hindsight is 50/50 is what it would sound like. Thick with weighty bass notes, menacingly minor overtones, and steeped in echoey resonance, this is the third full-length project by Albertan musician Evan Uschenko in less than two years. However, the latest manifestation of Ghost Woman is no longer a solo undertaking, as Belgian drummer Ille van Dessel has joined him. As shared at the end of last year via Dine Alone Records, Uschenko conveyed that this project “finally captures the true nature of the band” – and its tracks. Whereas the past few releases sound like a foray into 1970s reminiscence, Hindsight is 50/50 forges ahead into new sonic territory.

At first – when hitting play on “Bonehead” – one may be reminded of something by Death From Above; yet, it quickly becomes clear that something much more sinister is afoot. Whatever was concocted by Uschenko, van Dessel and producer Christophe Chavanon at KRWX – i.e. Kerwax Analog Recording Studio in France, not some American radio station – could best be described as entrancingly morose. To hear this, one need only listen to the title track (which accurately encapsulates the gloomy soul of Ghost Woman). But don’t skip ahead to the end too quickly because you’ll miss “Alright Alright” (with its opening rhythmic displacement, repetitive spookiness, layered allure and slowing tempo), “Highly Unlikely” (with its tense and uncertain volatility), and “Ottessa” (with van Dessel at the helm of vocals). As for “Along Pt.2,” it’s definitely a call-back to track four from Ghost Woman’s 2022 self-titled album, but only in name (as this new incarnation is positively cheerless). Then there’s “Yoko” (the most upbeat song on the album that goes completely off-the-rails-and-back-again), “Wormfeast” (a captivating instrumental detour), and “Juan” (which really highlights Uschenko’s 12-string electric and the live dynamic of the band). And it all concludes with “Buik” (a.k.a. belly or stomach), which is seemingly the least sombre song on the album – until one considers the lyrics (that are clearest to hear on this song as compared with all the others).

Hindsight is 50/50 is brilliantly dark, atmospherically addictive, and if these ten songs are any indication of what’s to come next, it’s highly likely that Ghost Woman will visit us again soon with even more content to transfix us. Until then, check out the videos for “Alright Alright,” “Yoko,” and “Juan” (which are all viewable on their Bandcamp site).

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