Friday, June 25, 2021

Sketchface Tells a Tale of Fear and Confusion on Latest Release ‘What do you Think our Ghosts Make of us?’

Firstly, what a superb name for a song ‘What do you Think our Ghosts Make of us?’ is. Both playful and hauntingly eerie in its whimsical form – it’s a superb summary of how many have questioned their own existence in a period that has seen incredible amounts of self-reflection. Written and recorded by Charlie Atkins during a time of isolation whilst at university, the track sees him come to terms with his own fears. 

The intro has shades of Massive Attacks 1998 classic ‘Teardrop’ with its distance trap drumbeats and looping guitar lines. Yet, when the song bursts into life amidst overdriven guitar hook and processed claps, it feels more akin to the modern indie-pop of The 1975. 

Lyrics portraying the desperation of being locked up, alone, and often afraid are everywhere on the track - “Sometimes I wonder why I’m still alive / natural selection, lack of comprehension” – bemoans the lonely singer. The introspective nature of the statement reflects the confusion and angst felt by many in a year that has seen much of what we once held dear taken from us. It also points to Sketchfaces inability to ascertain the meaning to all his trials and tribulations, leading him to question his own existence in a poignant and emotive manner. 

Another layer of beauty is added to the song with the introduction of Femmebug, a female artist who accompanies Sketchface on the track, providing backing vocals that add to the haunting sound. The contrast between Sketchface's strained and husk vocals compared to the evocative and emotive female voice of Femmebug adds a layer of pain to the lyrics, whilst her solo verse enhances the innocence felt throughout. “I find it hard to believe in destiny” she states, as she ponders her own fears and regrets. The looping guitar line found throughout the song echoes the repetitive nature of a year in lockdown and beautifully compliments the reflective and often abstract lyrics. 

Sketchface described his own debut album – ‘Pseudonausea’ released at the start of the year, as “Very Flawed”. A harsh critique, yet one that shows an artist chasing perfection. With ‘What do you Think our Ghosts Make of us?’ Sketchface can be proud that he has created a well-produced song that sounds fresh in the modern musical landscape. However, the vocal pairing of Sketchface and Femmebug is what truly sets this song apart as a touching tale of isolation, fears, and youth. 

Hopefully, in the future, we will hear more from the duo together. 

James Ogden 

Image – What Do You Think Our Ghosts Make Of Us Official Single Artwork 

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