Ghostpoet – Dark Days & Canapés

The latest album from Ghostpoet, Dark Days & Canapés is an expertly crafted assault on the fallacy that ignorance is bliss

Album Review by Alexander Smail | 14 Aug 2017
Album title: Dark Days & Canapés
Artist: Ghostpoet
Label: Play it Again Sam
Release date: 18 Aug

The oxymoronic title of Ghostpoet’s latest album says a lot about where Obaro Ejimiwe’s head is at the moment. On the surface, the world around us seems pretty much the same as it always has been. He sees the darkness encroaching in, though, and no amount of hors d'œuvres can hide it. There’s an urgency to Dark Days & Canapés, as if Ejimiwe is screaming at us, but we can’t – or choose not to – listen. Musically, the album is an organic evolution from 2015’s excellent Shedding Skin (which was itself a drastic departure from the electronic beats and sparse arrangements of his Mercury-nominated debut Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam), continuing his fruitful foray into alt-rock tinged arrangements.

Dramatic compositions and Ejimiwe’s idiosyncratic raspy drawl drag us in to his bleak, but frank world, where societal troubles aren’t faraway abstract concepts, but matters that should be on everybody’s mind. Rampant consumerism isn’t just an inevitable symptom of capitalism but a malevolent force that threatens to market our very emotions; refugees aren’t freeloaders but desperate human beings making journeys across oceans at great personal expense.

If it all sounds a bit draining, rest assured Ejimiwe feels the same. In introspective penultimate track Woe Is Meee he allows himself to indulge in hopelessness for a while, anchored by a resolute rhythm and moody bass riff. Listening to Dark Days & Canapés, the world feels just that bit darker. The album is an expertly crafted assault on the fallacy that ignorance is bliss, an eye-opening invitation to see our society for what it really is. Bliss is overrated anyway.

Listen to: Trouble + Me, Immigrant Boogie, Woe Is Meee