I’ve always found it difficult to get all the way through a Frankie Cosmos album. As endearing as her vocal style can be, I have to be in the mood to really enjoy it, and oftentimes find the sound growing repetitive by the third or fourth song.
Ghost Thoughts takes that same sweet, colloquial approach and makes it fresh again. The title of this record, No Chill, alludes to the album’s lyrical subject matter — making out with someone at a party to make an ex jealous, fantasizing about someone who has moved on, and asking, “Can I love you if I hate myself?” — rather than its sound.
No Chill’s tracklist is sprinkled with voice memos like “Hannah Talking” and “Anne Reads the Letter,” and as a result, the album feels like thumbing through a journal full of entries about love, anger and miscommunication. Many of the tracks are drenched in echo and reverb, giving an (aptly) ghostly dissonance to otherwise sugary hooks.
“It’s So Easy, It Makes Me Queasy” is the first song on the record that gives you the opportunity to really dance. The line “Take me away / Save me from myself” is sung with both tenderness and power throughout the first verse, and with dreamy guitars and warm bass at the forefront of the track, it’s easy to sway along. This comes as a pleasant surprise when you realize that “It’s So Easy, It Makes Me Queasy” is the longest song on the 13-track record. At nearly five minutes in run time, it offers a structure and style that’s a little more challenging than what’s explored on the rest of the album.
The comparison to Frankie Cosmos comes naturally thanks to No Chill’s uplifting vocal harmonies and confessional lyrics like, “Even though you don’t call me / I still think about you when I cum.” Still, Ghost Thoughts remain distinct from other bands by way of their tongue-and-cheek lyrical direction and all-around realness. Where Frankie Cosmos gets lost in fantasy, Ghost Thoughts is grounded in very real social and interpersonal issues, and this is reflected in their sound. All things considered, their music is both melancholy and mature.
No Chill is a relatable, accessible and comfortable collection — the kind of record you play in your bedroom on a rainy day, perhaps while you write furiously in your diary, re-read your favourite book or take a long overdue shower cry.