It’s been two years since Roadkill Ghost Choir has taken listeners on a ride. Last trip, brothers Andrew and Zach Shepard packed the car with high aspirations, a top-notch crew of musicians and the profound swelter of the South. With the upcoming arrival of False Youth Etcetera, the brothers have outgrown their roots in a supersonic fashion – exchanging their broken-down vehicles for an electrified magic carpet ride that soars through the night sky.
Amidst the surprise success of the band’s first record, primary songwriter Andrew was hardened by his experiences on the road, and under pressure to deliver new songs that outshined previous releases. It’s no surprise False Youth Etcetera feels like a turn towards the fantastical, an anthemic escape compared to past output. It’s immediately felt on the band’s first single, “Classics (Die Young),” which bends beautifully and purposefully in the direction of synth-pop, and sets the tone for the entire record.
“Going into [the band’s first major release] In Tongues, I was terrified because I had never written under such a time crunch, and I struggled with writer’s block,” notes Shepard. “For False Youth Etcetera, it ended up being the first time I didn’t have a timeline. I was able to navigate what I really wanted to do musically and lyrically. This record is more textural, with more synth and more interesting experimentation within our sound and genre.”
Shepard is pointed in the departure from their familiar Americana sound, confirming
“there is no banjo” on False Youth Etcetera. This desire to explore new musical terrain was only bolstered by Shepard’s adoration for similar sonic explorations and artists transcending their genre to create a unique sound – rooted in influences such as The War On Drugs, Neu! and Bruce Springsteen. The result is an album that clearly and beautifully delivers the group to a whole new infectious, cosmic terrain.