Pain, loss, and fear have never been so beautiful as captured musically by Philly indie rockers Stellarscope. If you love albums by Joy Division and The Cure(in the early 80s) then you will love the mood of “Standing in the Shadow of your Ghost.” For me it is fitting in this rainy night. The synths are spacey and the drums are robust. Basically, this album is the creative output of two people: Tom Lugo & Bob Forman. You can tell that hours spent writing and recording together gave us this trippy output.
Most of the tracks are mid-tempo which is good for background music for dim lights and a book in hand. There are also danceable tracks like Only Strangers Now which calls to mind the late and great Ian Curtis. The gothic brooding of Tom Lugo’s voice and the hypnotic drums of Bob Forman create an almost beautiful form of revelation.
The power of “Standing in the Shadow of your Ghost” is in its craft. The quality of the recording is already evident in the first track and even though there is no darkness in your horizon, you will appreciate this for its creative strength.
The album closes with How it Ends with its oceanic soundscapes. All things must come to an end. Love, no matter how fervent can sadly end. In this sad times of instant gratification, Stellarscope remind us that you can take your tragedy and make it into art. And while we quietly weep for the ghost of our pasts, helpless to the obstinate hands of time, that aching and bleeding part of our humanity refuses to move on yet. Because our stubbornness to hold on to meaning is what makes us human after all.