It’s been seven years since Sanders Bohlke’s eponymous debut- a folk album hailed as passionate and praised for its honesty. But that doesn’t mean that Bohlke has been quiet in the interim. To fill the spaces between, he’s released a slew of standalone singles and EPs, including “Search and Destroy,” a 7+ minute track that expands in an unyielding cascading rhythm and “The Weight of Us,” a string-laden ballad that Popdose referred to as “sound[ing] like a stark personal statement... a hauntingly lovely song.”
The wait is now over, as Sanders released his latest album Ghost Boy via Communicating Vessels, one of the new crop of cutting edge Southern record labels, based out of Birmingham, Alabama.
Envisioning Ghost Boy as a complete work and inspired by a wintertime retreat to the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, the album chronicles the isolation that creeps in when the days get shorter and you’re further and further removed from society. Opening with “Pharaoh,” Bohlke leaves enough empty space between the verses to feel the cold air trickling in. And on “The Loved Ones,” his plaintive finger-picked guitar provides a base for the swarm of voices that echo and dance together, creating an expansive and otherworldly ambiance.
Lead single ‘Ghost Boy’ is arguably Bohlke’s most infectious melody and fully realized flirtation with pop music, and could easily hold its own with the biggest indie singles of the last few years. On this new record, Sanders continues his evolution as a songwriter with lush soundscapes that layer brooding and billowy textures against his soulful voice. Once again recorded with Jeffrey Cain, they’ve perfected a sonic world that deftly highlights both the beauty and the dark romance of Bohlke’s songs.