Ed Ghost Tucker
In the few short years that Ed Ghost Tucker have been playing music together, they've progressed a lot. They've gone from acoustic-heavy folk-rock to a more jazz-influenced sound and then to an indie-rock sound that incorporates elements of Latin and calypso music. Ed Ghost Tucker seem more about change and evolution than about any particular sound.
The band's tendency toward diverse and eclectic approaches to pop music is on full display on their debut EP, Channels. The six songs that appear on the EP each has a different character and aesthetic, but are all unmistakably the work of the same band. Though it's not always easy to sum up Ed Ghost Tucker's music in one simple phrase or label, the style they present on their first proper release is uniquely their own.
That said, it's hard not to be reminded of Vampire Weekend on the mesmerizing, atmospheric opener "Kids on the Block." Part of that is due to a vocal performance by Cameron Wilson that sounds a bit like Ezra Koenig's, but the similarity comes as more of a parallel than a direct comparison—Ed Ghost Tucker incorporate Caribbean sounds in much the same way that Vampire Weekend does with African influences.
No one rule about Ed Ghost Tucker holds true for every song, however; on "I Do," the best song on the EP, Michaela Wilson takes over on vocals—treated gorgeously with a heavy, ghostly dose of reverb—while the band nimbly shifts from an intricate, polyrhythmic arrangement to a solid groove. It shows everything the band is capable of in just a few short minutes, and it's impressive, to say the least.
For being a brief release, Channels has its share of highlights, including the dreamy "Mom Got Fat" and the upbeat island-pop of "Likes of You." Ed Ghost Tucker more than make good on the promise of their early demos; I only wish I'd given this EP a thorough listen before compiling my Best San Diego Albums of 2014 list.