Ghostly Beard will drop a new album May 4, entitled Inward. The musical project of Patrick Talbot, Ghostly Beard prefers to retain his anonymity. He explains his decision like this: “Not showing my face is a choice I’ve made as a reaction to our self/image-obsessed society, and it goes with my message which is to put the music forward and forget the faces. What I look like, who I am is unimportant in the end.”
Stylistically, Ghostly Beard’s sound encompasses soft rock, fusion jazz, progressive rock, and classic rock. It’s a sound that’s been compared to various artists, such as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Genesis, XTC, Chicago, Weather Report, and Chicago. Musicians on the album include Patrick Talbot on vocals and all instruments; Emma Caiman, who provides guest vocals on “Night Train;” and Sarah Talbot, guest vocalist on “Going Away.”
Inward comprises 10 tracks, along with mysteriously voguish cover artwork. The first three tracks, “How Does It Feel,” “The Love in Your Eyes,” and “Gone” are mellow soft rock tunes, sensitive and passionate.
The fourth track, “Autumn Blues,” is a blues-flavored instrumental riding an intensely sweltering guitar exuding tight, proximate tones. “Night Train” combines two distinct flavors: Steely Dan and Pink Floyd. It merges prog rock with avant-garde jazz elements into a smooth essence.
My personal favorites on the album are “Let Go” and “Going Away.” The former track offers a sleek sensuous flow of indulgent erotic colors, which are enhanced by Patrick Talbot’s silky vocal tones and laid-back inflection. “Going Away” reminds me of Styx because of its luminous intro and bright energy, as well as the exuberant glow of the background vocal harmonies.
Another song worthy of mention is “9 to 5 (Barely Alive),” an easygoing prog rock piece reminiscent of Pink Floyd; it is languorous and pensive with drifting spectral harmonics.
The songs on Inward emanate an unhurried energy, as well as a relaxed mood, making it undemanding to listen to. It’s one of those albums best described as luxuriously comfortable, which makes it worth your time and attention.