Comet Gain return with their seventh album Paperback Ghosts on July 7th, their first since 2011's critically acclaimed Howl of The Lonely Crowd. Recorded at Soup Studios with producer Simon Trought at the helm, and inspired by the psycho-geography of walks in North London woods and in the forgotten grey hinterland of the city's back streets, Paperback Ghosts comes soaked in autumn melancholy. Tender-hearted but not miserable, defiant but not angry, it maintains the delicate balance that has always been Comet Gain's strength.
The album is about ghosts: the half-forgotten spectres of lost loves; the people who live inside their own sepia-tinted memories; the mystical phantom presence of previous owners retained by used books, the paperbacks haunted by old fingerprints. Blending psychedelia, folk-rock, garage muscle and 4am sadness, the songs draw on the esoteric that lies behind the ordinary.
Comet Gain are David Charlie Feck (vocals, guitar), Ben Phillipson (guitar), Rachel Evans (vocals), ex-Morrissey/The Meteors drummer Woodie Taylor (percussion), Anne Laure Guillain (keyboards) and new recruit, Clientele bassist James Hornsey - a motley group of like-minded romantics, taking pride in an abject failure to care about the normal band model. Inspired at times by early Creation Records, Television Personalities and mod culture, drawing from the same ideals as Dexys, The Style Council and Vic Godard and from the lineage of The Velvet Underground, The Byrds and the 13th Floor Elevators, their mystic anarchist principles blend French New Wave with English kitchen-sink heart. For years they have drifted through scenes picking up people and emotional ties - from Riot Grrrl to acid punks, C86 to lo-fi - yet somehow outliving their peers and in turn inspiring a younger generation of DIY musicians like The Cribs, Love Is All, Veronica Falls, and Crystal Stilts.
On each album they record, Comet Gain bring together their myriad of influences, creating a cohesive aesthetic between sound, artwork, liner notes and ideas. Paperback Ghosts is no different, offering us a glimpse into a haunted half-world with its strings, yearning harmonies, 12-string acoustic guitars and half-focused vision of pianos in reverb, while remaining at heart a pop record, a richly textured affirmation of Comet Gain's twenty-year anti-career.