Trans-Atlantic alternative neo-folk collective Lusitanian Ghosts presents ‘September’ ahead of their third long-player ‘Lusitanian Ghosts III’, out September 15 via European Phonographic.
A Portuguese-Canadian-Swedish chordophone collective founded by Neil Leyton and Micke Ghost (a.k.a. Mikael Lundin), Lusitanian Ghosts revives lost instruments and presents ancient sounds in the 21st Century. Re-casting these heritage folk violas into rock n roll songs, the European artist collective writes from a socio-political perspective on building a better world, creating songs for the heart and mind, recording on analogue tape and releasing moving music on vinyl.
Together with João Sousa, Abel Beja (from Primitive Reason), ToZé Bexiga (from Raia) and Jan-Eric Olsson, Lusitanian Ghosts plays traditional Portuguese chordophone instruments, ancient regional guitars (Amarantina, Beiroa, Campaniça, Braguesa, Toeira, Terceirense). These instruments, once on the verge of extinction, are the real “Lusitanian Ghosts” (Lusitania being an ancient Celtic tribe in what would become the central territory of Portugal).
Recorded and mixed at Clouds Hill Studios in Hamburg by Sebastian Muxfeldt (Elbow, Peter Doherty, Teenage Fanclub), the single (like the coming album) will be released in both stereo and mono versions. Earlier, the band previewed the singles ‘The Long Train’, ‘Shameless’ and ‘Got Enough’.
‘September’ evokes the Portuguese emotion of “saudade” – a happy-sad longing or yearning, a certain condition of the heart and soul. Here, Lusitanian Ghosts bring to the fore the Portuguese folk chordophone violas Amarantina, Campaniça and Terceirense, skilfully played by Michael Lundin, ToZé Bexiga and Abel Beja respectively.
ToZé’s viola Campaniça, from the Portuguese heartland of Alentejo, also gets a processed treatment on this track, belying the fact that Lusitanian Ghosts make music with absolutely no guitars – just chordophones, bass and drums. Althought a brand new rock n roll alt-folk sub-genre, these songs feel warmly familiar.
“Musically, this one started out with an old bassline that I’d been toying around with for years but never got anywhere with. When I read Neil’s lyrics that riff came to mind and we used it for the song originally. As it turned out, Janne came up with a much better bassline so my old one is still lying around waiting to be used in a future song. We couldn’t really decide if this was supposed to be a fast or a slow song, the chorus worked well both fast and slow so we just slowed it down in the ending so we got both. It turned out very well. A catchy little tune with ToZé on his baddest Pearl Thompson behaviour,” says Micke Ghost.
Neil Leyton adds, “To me, September was always the most intense month of each year during my formative years… spending Summers on the beach in Portugal, then flying back to Canada for school… this song is about some of those intense childhood and growing up memories, both the good ones as well as the not so good ones… growing up is hard, but then you’re an adult and you totally miss it, haha. This is also the perfect song to really introduce the wide breadth of emotions that are coming up on the rest of the Lusitanian Ghosts III album… coming, you guessed it, September 15th!”
‘September’ is out now, available everywhere digitally, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. The ‘Lusitanian Ghosts III’ album will be released on September 15. It can be pre-ordered digitally via Bandcamp and also on vinyl, with both mono version and stereo version available.
Neil Leyton – vocals
Mikael Lundin aka Micke Ghost – vocals and Viola Amarantina
João Sousa – drums and Adufe
Abel Beja – viola Terceira and backing vocals
António “ToZé” Bexiga – Viola Campaniça
Janne Olsson – bass and Viola Beirão
Published by Lusitanian Music Publishing
All songs written by Neil Leyton and Mikael Lundin except “Pure Evil” by Bexiga/Leyton/Lundin
Produced by Neil Leyton and Mikael Lundin
Recorded at Clouds Hill Studios, Hamburg
Engineered & mixed by Sebastian Muxfeldt
Assisted by Schulie Pieper
Mastered by Chris von Rautenkranz at SoundGarden Hamburg
Cover painting ”Hamnen” (The Harbour) by Yngve Forsberg, painted in 1989.
Photography by Katja Ruge.
Design by João Morais aka O Gajo
ALBUM TRACK LIST
1 The Long Train
6 Dr. Ana Maria
7 Got Enough
9 Pure Evil
10 Black Wine White Coffee
11 Bright Lights