Week in Pop: Ghost Soda, Joey Nebulous, S.al

Sjimon Gompers

Midwest mic master S.al, fka Safari Al, transcends the underdog status in a continued push of proliferation; photographed at Shea Stadium by Rick Perez.

Ghost Soda

Specters in the material realm—Ghost Soda’s Cameron Walden; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Regular Impose readers (or really anyone paying attention to what is happening in the North American music scene at large) are well aware that the Seattle scene was never confined to any particular decade, style, genre or fashionable conceit. In our continued coverage of the Pacific Northwest never-ending parade of seemingly infinite proliferation; we bring you the world premiere for Ghost Soda’s fresh, smooth, sultry & silky single “Moments” featured off the forthcoming album Love World iii. With visuals directed by Koji Minami along with camera work from Canh Nguyen, Ghost Soda’s Cameron Walden gives the audience a privy view into their hedonistic world of heart penned love notes where feeling is channeled through sounds & sights that elevate views from the interior to the exterior. The night cast glow of city lights provides an entrance into the neon lit Seattle sights where we follow Cameron from the bedroom, to the shower, the dining room table, laundry room, grassy groves, subways, sidewalks & reflective window shop gazes. The Ghost Soda aesthetic revels in the wonders of feelings that defy simple definition, where the fragments of the physical, spiritual, mental (perhaps even the paranormal and/or supernatural) are translated in evocative deliveries of rhythm & blues that are bathed in electronic arrangements that envelop the listener into Walden’s world of pure transcendent imagination.

The brilliance of Ghost Soda’s visual single for “Moments” is that it exemplifies all the connotative experiential feels that occur in a collection of instances—documented beautifully by Cameron’s sound along with Koji & Canh’s visual captures. Sublime moments shared between Cameron & significant other are seen exchanging sweet nothings between the sheets & picnics in the park, as we also see the artist enjoying solo moments of solitude at home & around town. A symbolic green hued Bartlett pear is enjoyed by the couple amid afternoon indulgences (that is also observed in one of the opening/establishing video shots of the couple’s bedroom), where it reappears later while Walden is strolling solo and is overcome with pangs of feeling where one bite brings them back to the feelings of being enraptured in the moment to moment sensations (seen & felt further subsequently via a collage sequence of previous scenes & shots). The Ghost Soda style of synthesizer sequencing allows the keys to descend upon the audience in a rain of emotive & enrapturing sensations that syncs the listener/viewer to inhabit the artist’s own private world of thoughts, sentiments & wonder. “Moments” exists to crystallize the present like a collection of cinematic snapshots & affectionate audio conveyed through Cameron’s calm styled croon that sings & speaks according to what each bar & beat of the song calls for. Aspects of both the present & montages of memory are beautifully mixed together to tell the story of “Moments” where lives lived in the present, future & past are cherished in passionately charged passages & inward & outward reckonings of being. From the immersive Ghost Soda sound that haunts the heart & soul alongside the aptly perfect visualization narrative; “Moments” brings all with ears, eyes, minds & spirits into the personal & creative realm of Cameron Walden that champions the limitless power & effects that true love has in our lives.

Reclining & reflecting with Ghost Soda’s Cameron Walden; video still photographed by Koji Minami & Canh Nguyen.

We had the chance to catch up with Cameron Walden of Ghost Soda via the following transcript of our recent candid interview:

Give us the secret history of how Ghost Soda first began.

I’d always written and played music for myself, but never really had the interest of playing any of it live. It was more cathartic you know? After awhile, I found inspiration from watching my friends play shows, so I decided it was time for me to do my thing and try something new.

Describe how you go about your own creative musical processes of inspiration, inception & execution.

I write under a stream of consciousness. I don’t go into writing a song being like, oh I like how these words flow together, or I like this drum beat or chord progression. I can’t do that. It all kind of just happens in the moment. I usually figure out the instrumentation of the song first and then karaoke style sing over the top of it until the right words come out. Lyrics are usually last for me. It’d be funny to hear a recording of me while I’m trying to write a song, uttering random words for an hour.

Tell us too about the making of the immersive, intimate & emotive Koji Minami & Canh Nguyen video for “Moments”.

My girlfriend and I had done acid together the night before, so I think some of the intimacy from having shared that experience together comes through on camera. It can be a weird thing having a camera on you, especially when you’re in a vulnerable state like we were, but both Koji and Canh are really good at what they do, so they made us feel comfortable. One funny thing that happened was at night while we were filming, a drunk guy came over to where we were and tried to go into a late night massage parlor and got kicked out. Some of the people that were inside came over to the window to watch me flailing myself all over and throwing myself on the ground.

What real life events & moments contributed to the song “Moments”?

Realizing you’re not meant to be with someone, but appreciating it for what it was in the moment. I’m always second guessing myself and this song is me trying to cope with that. Looking back on it, wondering what I could have done differently, but coming to terms with it all.

Tell us too about the making of the upcoming album Love World III.

Back at the start of the year I had a set of 7 or 8 completely different tracks that I had planned on releasing, but of course I never backed them up and then my hard drive crashed and I lost everything. After that happened, I got kind of frustrated with music, especially having to do it all by myself. Then I wrote these songs pretty quickly and recorded them all shortly there after. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with them, so I sat on them for awhile. Recently, I convinced myself that I should just get it over with and put them out, so now I think the album should be out around February of 2018.

Styling & profiling with Ghost Soda’s Cameron Walden; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Other local Seattle artists the world should be listening to?

Thank You. I love those boys. We recently went on tour together and they also just put out a new album, Sardine Dream that is amazing. I’ve been listening to it a lot. It’s a pretty cool thing when your friends put out music that you genuinely like.

2018 hopes & dreams?

Ha, that’s a good question. I have a hard time thinking too far ahead. Maybe drawing more? Sometimes I get so wrapped up in one thing that I forget I actually have other hobbies or a life outside of what I’m doing in the moment. I’d like to get better at cooking too, actually.

Parting thoughts?

I’m glad this video’s out so I can stop thinking about it. I hope ya’ll enjoy!

Love World iii will be available soon.

Listen to more from Ghost Soda via Bandcamp.

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