sun 21/04/2024

Album: Ghost Woman - Anne, If | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Ghost Woman - Anne, If

Album: Ghost Woman - Anne, If

Musically literate Canadian’s second album evokes unintended parallels

'Anne, If': incredibly adept

After a few listens, the second album from Evan Uschenko’s musical alter-ego Ghost Woman increasingly resembles something which could have emerged from the early Eighties Los Angeles scene dubbed the "Paisley Underground". However, this does not seem to be what Canada’s Uschenko is aiming for.

The promotional text for Anne, If on the label’s website is peppered with different references: the harmonies of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Nuggets compilation, a 12-string guitar evoking The Byrds, Love, and Jefferson Airplane, Safe As Milk-era Captain Beefheart, Shel Talmy's Sixties productions for The Creation and Kinks. If that weren’t enough, Can, Neu! and Beak are also namechecked. Phew, some inventory.

Notwithstanding the above, play third track “3 Weeks Straight” alongside Paisley Underground staples The Dream Syndicate and… well. The same with “Broke” and their contemporaries The Rain Parade. While a motorik drive underpins “Street Meet”, that Paisley Underground vibe is always close.

Even so, Anne, If is rougher-edged, more garagey than what emerged over 1982 to 1984 and could do with a more dynamic production. It seems to be a mostly solo recording made by the Alberta-based Uschenko on a Tascam 388 eight-track tape machine despite the live iteration of Ghost Woman being a band. There are, though, a guest lead vocal from the band’s Nick Hay on one cut and a pedal steel contribution on another.

It’s all incredibly adept but what’s lacking is the tension brought by different musicians interacting with each other. “Lo Extraño” motors along but would really take off were people playing against each other. An album which needs animating in a live setting.


What’s lacking on 'Anne, If' is the tension brought by different musicians interacting with each other


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article


Disagree. Best new stuff ive heard in a long time. Smart playing and composition. You’re complaining about something that isnt an issue.

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters