A Choir of Ghosts – An Ounce of Gold

Album Review | Greywood Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

James Auger, under the guise of A Choir of Ghosts, describes this debut album release as a ‘diary of experiences and feelings’, which perhaps sums up the eleven tracks nicely.  Working in collaboration with the Canadian producer Terry Benn, the Sweden-based singer songwriter and musician creates expansive soundscapes for his songs, from the veritable opus of an album opener “Sinner in Rapture” to the country-inflected pop of “Outside the Window” and “The Taste of Smoke”. 

Kurt Cobain has been mentioned in connection with Auger, possibly due to the similarity in places of their respective rasping vocal delivery, but there again, on such songs as “The Days Fade Quicker” and “The Water”, the voice couldn’t be more different, leaning more towards the current wave of Nu-folk stylists, with Johnny Flynn springing immediately to mind.  “Better Off Alone”, featuring a guest vocal from Ellen Sundberg, brings a new dimension to the overall sound of the album, whilst the simplicity of “Southwest of the Sun” indicates that Auger has the ability of holding your attention with just a strummed guitar and some un-intrusive, almost minimalist backing, leaving the voice to do all the work.

Choice Track: Better Off Alone (NSV 499)