Present Ghost

Telling stories



“Air Condition” animates the ordinary

By now, everyone who reads my blog knows I’m related to the lead singer of The Sleaves. He’s my brother, so I can’t be an unbiased reviewer, but here’s what I can offer that no one else can: We’ve talked for years about art, be it visual, written, or musical. We’ve shared influences and affected each other’s work in collaboration and conversation. I know what makes Andrew Ditlevson tick. At least, I have a pretty good idea.

Andrew is interested in shadows, the interplay of light and dark. That’s a typical artist thing, but I find my brother’s work to hang out in this really tense, undecided space. It’s uncomfortable but not discomforting, because it’s so human.

The phases of human life have interested Andrew for awhile now. He’s been working on a series of EPs covering marriage, and most recently, childhood.

“Air Condition” is track off the Marriage EP. The Marriage EP explores the pain, joy, and ordinariness of a marital relationship. Some aspects of his work is autobiographical, but “Air Condition” is fiction. In it, he tells the story of a person mourning the death of his or her spouse.

Andrew will call the song “dark,” but I’d use a different word.

When I hear him sing this line:

“Now that you are really gone, I don’t change the sheets/It has been about a year since you were with me.”

I know what he’s talking about. It’s that almost palpable absence you can feel, whether or not your partner is dead.

That’s heavy.

Find more sleaves music on their SoundCloud page.


Soundscaping already


If you’re looking for lyrics, they’re not here, but there’s music in the sounds, and you probably wouldn’t guess how it got there. PG takes some time to interview Daniel Ditlevson and Ariana Robin, who collaborated on Already Always.

Both of you have favorites on this album. Can you explain to me why each stands out to you?

Ari: I think everything meshes together really well in “Space Cafe,” and it really transports me to, well, a cafe in space, like out of Star Wars or something. I close my eyes during the piece, and that’s just where I am, and I’m imagining all different kinds of aliens and weird space drinks, and it’s awesome! Few songs really transport me like that…a lot of it has to due with the melody of the saxophone, which is really compelling and alluring.

Daniel: I really love “Galactic Birds,” because the way it was created was super simple, but appears so otherworldly and beautiful. Plus, Ari made some great tape chirping/whirling sounds on this! Continue reading “Soundscaping already”

Noise Annoys: Q&A with Experimental Noise Artist Daniel Ditlevson

Almost 10 years ago, I got lost in the Nashville suburbs driving with my boyfriend. We were listening to Psychocandy. I sat in the passenger seat, commenting about the album casually, not really caring that I had no idea where we were. My boyfriend declared that he couldn’t handle the “noise” and needed to turn it off. The feedback disrupted his ability to navigate. If we weren’t going to break up again (at least at that moment), I needed to mind the road.

After I relented and turned off the stereo, he asked, “How can Dan sleep through this?”

I don’t think either of us knew the answer to that question, but this Q&A might clear up a few things. Dan likes noise, and he makes it very well. It’s beautiful, scary, and sometimes even a bit funny. Let’s get to know him.

Continue reading “Noise Annoys: Q&A with Experimental Noise Artist Daniel Ditlevson”

“Pumping” by The Sleaves

The Sleaves, who PG featured last fall, have released a new single from their forthcoming full-length album. Lead vocalist Andrew Ditlevson said that he’s pleased with the final mixing on this project, and that it’s turning into what he’s always wanted to hear in his work.

Check out some of their other tracks on their SoundCloud and get your copy on Spotify or iTunes.

Linwood Draws Closer to Clear With Latest LP

Rourke, left, and Sprague pose in front of the corn because that is what Midwestern boys like this saw every day growing up. The city sets the glamorous backdrop of grime for rock pictures, but for the micropolitan and smalltown Americans, there is the dirt of back yards, old barns, churches and basement parties.

“Poison” — First track off the new album

“Closer to Clear” — Title track

After playing together for more than a decade, Linwood founding members David Rourke and Patrick Sprague have released Closer to Clear, an album they describe as a “journey of passion and heartache.”

Although this midwestern band began playing music in church, their range of sound seems to draw more influence from nineties and early 2000s bands like Jimmy Eat World and Get Up Kids than worship giants like Hillsong United. Rourke and Sprague have played onstage since 2006, performing professionally and in houses of worship all over the United States.

Closer to Clear, which was released April 15 this year, was produced by Andrew Goldring (Golden Sun, Great Interstate). More information about the band can be found on Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook, and deeper cuts are available on Spotify.

Taking on [a] Seaside Holiday


This track, called “Voyager 1: Etchings of Yesterday” will appear on the forthcoming Seaside Holiday album Grand Tours. Below, PG takes a moment to ask the band’s founder and primary vocalist Cara McQuate a few questions about the single, writing music, and just a few grab-bag items for good measure.

1. How long has Seaside Holiday been a band?

We began working on what became the self-titled debut somewhere around 2008.

2. Who is in the band?
Sister/brother duo: Cara McQuate and Morgan McQuate. For our live performances, our hired guns are Connor Thompson on drums and Phil Neiswander on bass.

Morgan McQuate

3. What do you see as your goal/direction/influence in this upcoming album?
The new LP is more rooted in an electronic influence. It’s more ambient and ethereal, with a an overall darker sound. I’d liken it to Editors, Ladytron, and Wild Nothing, as far as influences. Continue reading “Taking on [a] Seaside Holiday”

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