This self-released EP kicks off in a very low-key and haunting way with the title track being built around a solemn piano piece, joined by sombre vocals. I immediately wondered what I’d let myself in for if the rest of the EP was in a similar vein, but more surprises were in store. I’ll return to the first track later on.
Across the following six tracks there is a varied approach with soaring guitars, building to a crescendo in some with others being fairly bare bones in delivery, with “Dead Kansas” featuring just an acoustic guitar and vocals to good effect. When they ramp things up a bit, their sound is more of an indie rock style with the initial comparison coming to mind being Thursday. Certainly, the vocals sound a bit like Geoff Rickly, and given that they too have an emotional quality to their songs (without being tagged as being "emo"), it’s quite an obvious comparison to make.
After the title track is “Minnesota” and “September Nights”, two of the more expansive-sounding songs, followed by the aforementioned “Dead Kansas”. This really is a haunting and evocative track—albeit, its brevity means it’s almost more like an intro than a more filled-out song. To me this shows that the band are not content to go down a conventional route and that they’re happy to really mix things up where they feel it necessary.
“The Paper Shield” is more of a fully-fledged rock track before the EP closes with “Western Devil - part 1” and “Western Devil - part 2”. "Part 1" is another poignant song dealing with loss whilst "Part 2" builds into a more fiery sounding song.
The Ghosts EP is dedicated to two friends of the band, both of whom lost their lives in recent years. The idea of ghosts (as in the first track) in this sense relates more to the thoughts or feelings that haunt you, as opposed to anything tangible. The emotion of such feelings is evident throughout the seven tracks and the result for me is a strong collection of songs which flow nicely, creating an atmosphere that makes one think of and be grateful for what they have. Conversely it also makes you remember those you have lost, in any circumstance, and it does no harm to be reminded of that sometimes. It is interesting that this track was chosen to open the EP as it’s not what you would expect a band to do, but as noted above it doesn't appear that the Jupiter Sea are restricted by convention.
I initially passed on reviewing this but am really pleased it was passed back to me. I look forward to hearing more from the Jupiter Sea.