Æ: Aglet Eaters

Epic45 – Ghosts On Tape (2009)

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on June 13, 2010

I’m a little bit in love with this song. ‘Ghosts on Tape’ is the last song on Epic45‘s mini-album In All The Empty Houses. I love Epic45 even more for releasing a ‘mini-album’. Everything is a little more endearing in miniature.

Now ‘Ghosts on Tape’ starts off all innocent-like with a little bit of string-picking. Then this wistful, disembodied voice comes in and says “I’ll always remember you/you’re in my heart/forever.” Ordinarily I’d roll my eyes at such op-shop lyrics but these convey such heartbreaking hopelessness as they absent-mindedly sketch a fond memory before sinking into an acceptance of loss – “Now we’re just… ghosts on tape” – that they are immediately granted the right of way on the cliche superhighway, should such a thing exist. The song is so full of unhappy longing, it makes you want to wrap it up in a blankie and give it some spiked cocoa with the aim of snapping the glaze out of its unfocused eyes.

Because ‘Ghosts on Tape’ is effectively just an extended childhood reminiscence punctuated by unwelcome jolts back to cruel adulthood. The video fits perfectly too and you see it complement the steadily melancholic song as protagonist goes through fits of rage, defeated helplessness and ultimate submission.

But it’s not a depressing song. There’s a magical crash halfway through which transforms the melancholia of the track into something wonderfully uplifting. By the time we reach the end we’re no longer wallowing dejectedly in the past. I’d say we’re accepting the present and embracing the future instead, but it’s really more like we’ve figured out a way to go back in time and relive our favourite bits over and over again.

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