[one_half last=”no”]
Shedding Skin Cover

[one_half last=”yes”]GHOSTPOET
Shedding Skin

Release-Date: 02.03.2015
Label: Play It Again Sam.

01. Off Peak Dreams
02. X Marks The Spot
03. Be Right Back, Moving House
04. Shedding Skin
05. Yes, I Helped You Pack
06. That Ring Down The Drain Kind Of Feeling
07. Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me
08. Better Not Butter
09. The Pleasure In Pleather
10. Nothing In The Way

NBHAP Rating: 4/5


Guitar times

Obaro Ejimiwe, better known as GHOSTPOET, is a nice guy, but there’s one thing he won’t deal with. He’s sick, sick sick sick of lazy music journalists and critics assuming from the colour of his skin and his South London origins that he must be described as a rapper: ‘I know what I am, and I’m no rapper.’ Ejimiwe’s new album Shedding Skin (which features guest appearances from the likes of MAXIMO PARK’s Paul Smith and LUCY ROSE) was recorded with a live band, and Ejimiwe is clear about how he views it: ‘For me, it’s a guitar record’.

Sound Stitching

And his description is perfectly correct. Shedding Skin is a blend of moody alt-rock supplemented with beats and digital distortion. Title track Shedding Skin is a perfect combination between the two, a mixture of guitar and electronic pulses. Yes, I Helped You Pack sees a vocally subdued Ejimiwe dispatching a lover with lines like ‘If all you think of is yourself, there ain’t no room for me.’ Be Right Back, Moving House is sweeping and elegant, a track with a low-key grandeur. The way he stitches sounds and styles together is vaguely reminiscent of PORTISHEAD and MASSIVE ATTACK, while still very much remaining his own thing.

Lyrical scene

But this is a lyrical as well as a musical scene, and Ejimiwe puts more craft into his song titles than some artists put into their lyrics. His gift for packing an entire situation’s worth of information into a line remains, like ‘I got the curtains drawn, bottles all on the floor’ from Yes, I Helped You Pack. That Ring Down The Drain Kind Of Feeling explores a rotten post-relationship psyche after the protagonist of the song spots an ex, and is a great example of Ejimiwe’s eye for the mundane detail: ‘I needed skim milk bad, I weren’t expecting this, now I simply feel distracted’. And it’s that eye for detail that makes Shedding Skin so compelling to listen to. There’s so much hidden in little corners that it makes you want to listen with the same kind of obsessive attention that Ejimiwe clearly made it with. It all combines for GHOSTPOET‘s best album to date. Just, please, don’t call him a rapper.

Obaro Ejimiwe’s third album moves forward sonically while still retaining the traits that made his name. ‘Shedding Skin’ is a successful mixture of Ejimiwe’s intense lyrics and blurred sonic textures.