single of the week ~ 'scent' ~ sister ghost

Towards the end of 2013, an already varied and expansive soundscape of local music gained yet another merit through all girl, three piece Vanilla Gloom. The infectious grunge of Shannon Delores O'Neill, Megan O'Kane and Grace Leacock opened horizons previously unexplored at a local level, as the band quickly gathered a dedicated fan base to revel in their post-punk rallying cries. Sadly, like so many of grunge rocks fallen children, Vanilla Gloom's reign came to a head in a manner befitting of one of the three pieces guitar-swirling records. With the dust finally beginning to settle on the bands eventful life-span, the writer behind many of those much-loved tracks has continued to evolve...the result? 'Sister Ghost', a band of similar snarl, but with the added incentive of a rich history and open future.

The release of debut single 'Scent' was always going to be a huge statement of intent for lead guitarist Shannon Delores O'Neill. Assuming sole lead vocal duties and complete creative control over Sister Ghost, it's the project tipped by many to finally reclaim the Smashing Pumpkins sized hole left by Vanilla Gloom in Belfast. Thankfully the army of supporters have not wavered, 'Scent's official video racking up over 200 plays on Youtube  alone soon after it's release, but was this loyalty justified? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes. The 90's inspired, grunge guitar line smothers the underlying drums, producing a much more menacing tone than previously explored by Delores O'Neill. The front-woman's vocal now rests delicately over the quiet chaos below, creating an almost deathly hollow, worthy of the bands memorable name.

The gentle thunder of 'Scent's vision, is a testament to the finely honed song writing ability of it's author. For all it's menace and pent-up frustration, Delores O'Neill's desolate picture is allowed a chance to scream out loud, in the form of it's seismic chorus. It never really reaches that happy ending, but you feel there's a reason for that. Nor does Sister Ghost ever intend on giving this to her audience either. You feel, based on this evidence at least, this is a band fully aware that happy endings rarely exist and to portray anything different would be a betrayal to the music.

Another strength of this young project, lies in it's almost shoe-gaze like adaptions. The freedom of Dolores O'Neill's writing flows as naturally as the fuzz from her amp suggests. A change of pace or key is barely registered by the listener, as by that stage the soothing drones of each verse have fully engulfed any potential wandering thoughts.

It's a single already making head-way in establishing the Sister Ghost story. Picked up almost immediately by BBC DJ Stephen McCauley, the track took little time in making an impression and as first ones go, this is a strong one. What will be key now is the careful development of future tunes. If 'Sister Ghost' can learn the lessons of  it's predecessor and continue to grow, the grunge scene may have found it's new hero.

And not a moment too soon.

Taylor Johnson

For all official Sister Ghost news, follow the links below:

Find the new single from Sister Ghost here⁞►

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