Despite ‘Hindsight Is 50/50’ being the third album from Ghost Woman in 18 months, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Evan Uschenko believes that this is the first album that “finally captures the true nature of theband”.
The album was recorded mostly live in three days at the analogue Kerwax studios inBrittany, France by Christophe Chavanon (The Good Damn).Uschenko states that “the first two albums were never meant to be albums: they are likepages from diariesthat have long since been burned. With the introduction of Ille vanDessel as co-writer/drummer, the project feels like it has a direction”.There is a confidence and assurance that feels built upon the 2022 eponymous debut andthe follow-up ‘Anne, If’,which was only released in January 2023.
This urgency to progressand keep moving forward is reflected by the band: “We prefer to keep busy. But we’re lazytoo. We still feel like we could be doing a lot more.”Overall, there is a darker, denser feel compared to previous releases, but the sound andvibe of this album is more akin to what the project was supposed to be when it started in2016, finally realising Ghost Woman’s creative vision.The immersion into the album is immediate, locking in with the incessant riffing of‘Bonehead’ setting the scene for what follows. Next up is the echoey, garage-surf twang of ‘Alright Alright’. The opening line “take a little walk with me...” has a sinister, gothic huethat wouldn’t feel out of place on Murder Ballads or Peaky Blinders.
Sonically the album holds itself together within a warm, analogue soundworld, but with fewdigestible vocal melodies steering the tracks or easily giving up their meaning. This is aconscious decision, with Uschenko claiming that “there isnever a concept when it comes tocreating something, and no intention behind anythingwecreate, other than to make noiseand complete an album”.‘Yoko’ reverts to chugging boogie, spitting into life in bursts of squalling guitars, and a mid-song breakdown that infers the live version will far outlive its three and a half recordedminutes.Most songs are similarly restrained in their running time, indicating a strong sense of focusand editing, rather than letting the songs run away with themselves.
Only ‘Juan’ reallybreaks the five-minute mark and feels like the album’s centrepiece;an exuberantamalgamation of the themes and tones surrounding it. The band say that “these songswere made to be played live”, and the closing build will work perfectly in the darkest,noisiest club you can find.The title track continues this positive curve. The title is a play on the saying ‘Hindsight is20/20’, based on a friend’s drunken tattoo gone wrong. “Maybe it means life is all chance.Maybe it means common senseisn't so common”, say the band.