A brand new Eugene band, Ghost Tour, debuts Saturday, July 2, at Hi-Fi Music Hall’s Lounge. Ghost Tour features several familiar faces for Eugene music fans, such as Olive DelSol (Bohemian Dub Orchestra) on keyboards and vocals, and Michael Steinkirchner (Caitlin Jemma & The Goodness) on lead guitar.
The band’s sound primarily revolves around guitar, vocalist and EW contributor Andy Valentine’s gentle tenor and sweetly melancholy, lyrical songwriting. He sounds a bit like Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard delivering charmingly sad-boy lyrics like “Take a vacation to the places we’ve been/ While I’m tied up in strings without you.”
Beneath Valentine’s guitar-based, indie-rock tendencies are subtle R&B flourishes accentuated by DelSol’s throaty blues vocals and keyboard work. “Andy starts all the songs off like he’s trying to write a Shirelle’s song,” Steinkirchner says.
DelSol says she was the last to join the band and looks forward to contributing more songs, such as “Easy,” a bluesy neo-soul ballad in which DelSol sibilantly seduces like Amy Winehouse, adding extra syllables to words like “party.”
At best, the soul and indie sides of Ghost Tour come together for an almost West African rock ‘n’ roll groove; other times the edges aren’t quite smoothed out. Steinkirchner says that eventually Ghost Tour will perform with a horn section, and perhaps this will mediate the conversation between Valentine and DelSol’s songwriting voices.
For now, with strong lyrics, tasteful vocal harmonies and inventive use of dynamics and tempo, Ghost Tour is a strong addition to Eugene’s music scene.
Ghost Tour debuts with Portland’s Zygotes of the Forlorn West 10 pm Saturday, July 2, at the Hi-Fi Music Hall Lounge; $3-$5 dollars suggested donation, 21-plus. — William Kennedy