Tom Gallo

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Tom Gallo is the host of Look At My Records! on Radio Free Brooklyn.

If the end of summer is leaving you disillusioned, then Ghost Funk Orchestra will help ease the transition into the fall months with a record that’s filled to the brim with a cacophony of sounds.

The brainchild of producer and multi-instrumentalist Seth Applebaum, Ghost Funk Orchestra just shared their debut album, A Song For Paul, an ambitious 15-song collection that’s otherworldly in nature with a unique sound that’s impossible to pin down.

From cover to cover, the album blends a hodge-podge of influences and genres including jazz, surf-rock, pop, and soul, rolling them all up into the group’s own vibrant brand of avant-garde psychedelia that defies characterization.

Many of the tracks have a vintage feel with a thick and potent brass section and swinging melodies. The album formally kicks off (after an “Intro” clocking in a 1:45) with an attention-commanding track, “Walk Like A Motherfucker,” which sets the tone with a swagger that calculatingly unravels through some meticulous guitar work, evocative vocals, and a firm, steady beat.

“Modern Scene,” one of the record’s singles is a prime example of A Song For Paul’s ability to transcend both time and classification, as it sounds not of this era with an abundance of jazzy, stirring instrumentation, and a funk-infused bassline under ghostly vocals.

The record also features an array of untraditional time signatures abound, accompanied by smooth and lush harmonies as heard on “Issac Hayes.”

Photo by Cowboi Kidd.

For all the jazz, funk, and other influences, the album’s latter tracks boast some warm and refined pop sensibilities that still maintains an experimental edge – most akin to throwing Saint Etienne or The Field Mice into a blender with Gong or The Soft Machine. Overall, A Song For Paul is an impressive, far-reaching debut from this Brooklyn collective.

You can purchase A Song For Paul on vinyl via Bandcamp.

Catch Ghost Funk Orchestra performing live at National Sawdust on October 24th.

All images courtesy of Ghost Funk Orchestra. Cover photo by Cowboi Kidd.

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