Ghostpoet – Dark Days + Canapés


Here to put a calligraphed exclamation point on our surreal political present, Britain’s Ghostpoet releases a new album this week. Dark Days + Canapés finds Obaro Ejimiwe — more of a spoken word artist than traditional singer — dropping pensive meditations in his distinctively droopy drawl over anxious, rubbery rhythms. Though his lyrics often aim at the interpersonal, the dystopian promo videos for “Immigrant Boogie” and “Freakshow” underline the broader political, cultural, and environmental resonances in his message.

Aided by capable musicians and guest vocalists here and there, Ghostpoet’s music draws a line through post-punk’s mechanistic abstractions, the blunted tempos of trip-hop, grime’s futuristic grit, and — bet you didn’t see this coming — the dusky romanticism of late-period Leonard Cohen. Which is another way of saying, at times this album recalls the liquid, elegiac music that David Bowie made on his last record (or, alternately, suggests the possibility that Bowie had wandered into Ghostpoet territory toward the end). Through Dark Days + Canapés beats a steady emotional heart (captured particularly well on “Dopamine If I Do”) that channels the universal humanity in Ghostpoet’s unsettling sounds.


Dark Days + Canapés is out now on Play It Again Sam.