Fever Dreaming is Ghostking is Dead’s most cohesive and realised work yet: a five-track EP set in a world of vivid, restless dreams, and the dreary haze of the next morning; set sonically in a space between genres and influences both local and global.
On this record, his experience producing and writing with other artists shines through too — the rattling trap-influenced beat of Separation shows the fruit of his work with rising rap star Alex Gough, having co-produced his new single Fool and touring with his live band.
Preceded by enormous singles Palm Tree and Separation, the EP sees the dreamlike haze of those tracks stretched out and and inverted to a thread of restless tossing and turning, in the midst of a national cultural moment; between rising house prices, rising sea levels, rising anxieties, tumultuous cultural tides. And while the sonic diversity of the singles remains intact, the EP still packs some surprises; standout cut from the EP California? puts the spotlight on a beautiful guitar section suspended by digital drums and deep synths, the title track is the record’s true heart of darkness and the closer Again (and Again) renders a restless sunrise over soft keys.
The ambition on display on the record isn’t just sonic – its visual elements, created by Bartek Gruba and Neil O’Sullivan-Greene include Instagram augmented reality filters, 3D experiments and a future exhibition under the Hausu name.
Following up from his launch show in Cork on February 13th, Ghostking is Dead aims to make more waves on the live circuit going into the summer festival season.
- California? sees Corrigan dragged into this dream contemplating emigration and a choice of broken lands, left in his own swirling thoughts; there’s a snarl to the keys, vivid bass synth and reverberating background vocals, his guitar lines circle an abyss, capturing the restlessness and anxiety in his lyrics, trying to plot a future between sinking and burning cities.
- Separation shows the full extent of the versatility of Corrigan as a producer - the earlier chaos subsides leaving just him and his guitar, before the track is swallowed by booming 808 kicks, rattling hi-hats and his voice cries out in a demonic auto-tune. It’s some of the most technically impressive under the Ghostking is Dead name so far - and the inventive song structure holds its footing while chaos lands around it. Like his 2019 single Deflector before it, Corrigan shows what he’s capable of when the track goes all-in.
- At the EP’s midpoint and title track the album’s opposing forces are fleshed out and given voices from the heart of darkness; swirling through the dark as if appearing out of radio static, surrounded by the deep piano and understated glowing guitar lines that surround it.
- Colour saturates the record as the sun rises over Palm Tree. Set against the backdrop of “silver spoon psychos” living out tropical fantasies on Love Island-esque TV shows, and pretentious Instagram liars closer to home, Palm Tree is a conflicted ode to Cork and a life there; “for every moment you inspire me, you bring me doubt”. There’s a summery bounce over the track, using the sunshine and contrast it channels to bring other imagined worlds into vivid focus - Cork sliding into the sea, Corrigan dreams in a taxi to the airport. References to Frank Ocean and LCD Soundsystem draw closer inspection to the lyrics.
- The production switches under Again (And Again) revealing a morning haze, Corrigan half-awake crooning over keys and the dawn chorus, trying to place his thoughts from the night before, leaving him to face his fears in the real world.