Handsome Ghost - Birch Trees

March 08, 2023

To say we don't know the duo Handsome Ghost would be lying. If you like indie music, you must have seen this name somewhere on Spotify's editorial playlists. And rightly so, because when it comes to very high quality, Handsome Ghost becomes essential. We have already told you about the Nettwerk label, with whom we love working because their artists are all amazing.

This duo, made of Tim Noyes, singer-songwriter, and Eddie Byun, multi-instrumentalist and producer, comes from Massachusetts, and they have a unique sound. The song you are going to discover today is good proof of this.

The question that often comes up in our DMs is "what do you advise me to listen to on a rainy day?". Quite funny because I'm writing this while the rain is whipping my roof window. But the answer is obvious, "Birch Trees", taken from their new EP "To the Place Where We Met Last", just released yesterday, is a good bet.

How was this jewel born? Tim explains:

"Years ago I played a show up in a town on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It was a remarkably beautiful place, a bit of a tourist town - but I was up there at the end of winter - well before any tourists showed up. So there was a desolate prettiness to the place, it felt mostly empty. I spent some time after the show with a bunch of folks who lived there year round and got a lay of the land. I wasn't up there for more than 24 hours, but the whole experience stuck with me and I wrote Birch Trees with that town in mind."

This feeling is quite well known here, as we live in a very touristy area and I work in tourism myself, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people every summer. But in winter, everything is different, and this bustling place seems almost devoid of emotion.

Full of nostalgia, the folk ballad turns out to be an emotional time bomb that explodes at the last minute with a clever mix of folk-rock. The most attentive ears will notice the presence of a discreet banjo, even during the climax. A nice final part that was announced by magnificent vocal harmonies. Have you noticed the few piano notes discreetly slipped into the background?

Yes, these small details show how Handsome Ghost does a goldsmith's job. Until the music video to watch here:

But you will discover even more by going to listen to the whole EP, which is a real journey through time and stories, as Tim confides, who considers the EP "more of a book of short stories than a novel, in my mind". After listening to the 5 jewels, it is impossible to choose a favorite. The whole is very coherent and definitely deserves a listen below!

Reach out to Handsome Ghost

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