This will likely be seen as the strangest entry in my discography thus far, at least from the material angle. Unrefined blues-ish guitar jamming from a guy who doesn’t care much about the blues? Good thing this one isn’t really about the material angle...

It might come as something of a surprise, given the amount of electronic music on this site, that I’ve spent a fair amount of my life trying to feel at home on the guitar. I studied it formally, I played it in conventional ways, I abandoned the conventional ways and tried to treat it as a “sound generator” in more “experimental” contexts, but it never really felt right. That’s not to say I haven’t gotten a lot of good results from my bouts of wrestling with guitars - I have, and I don’t want this to read as self-deprecating or like I’m throwing myself under any busses. What I’m trying to emphasize is just that, despite the results, it very rarely felt right - I think I was always more concerned about getting those results than I was with feeling what was happening at the time.

This album marks the first time in my 22 years of playing guitar that I felt (almost) totally unselfconscious. I was fully immersed in the joy of playing - not thinking about what to do next, not worrying about what anyone would say about it, not concerned about how my playing stacked up against players I wished I was, not dreaming of the things I should buy in order to be seen as a cool dude. There was no warming-up, no abortive first attempts to get past, no overdubs to add later - this is it, and the only edits I made were to trim a couple of longer silences between “movements” while I was apparently sitting there staring into space.

I recorded the “A Side” at night, sitting on a yoga mat on the floor of my book room (”library” sounds pretentious), staring at the shelves packed to bursting. I played my white 2002 Japanese maple Stratocaster (all stock), augmented only by a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive pedal and some amp reverb. The title occurred to me as I finished playing, thinking to myself that I was glad I’d thought to hit record “while the ghost [was] here”.

I recorded the “B Side” the following afternoon, sitting on the couch in our living room, looking out the window at the mountains of North Vancouver. For this session I used my butterscotch blonde Mexican Telecaster (also all stock), with the same pedal/amp situation as the night before. I played the aggressive parts with a fun glow-in-the-dark pick, and the softer bits with my fingers. 

The cover photo was taken by my dad, Michael Keusch, somewhere in Vancouver, in December 2019.
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