While Queen Of Denmark was an astute portrait of self-doubt (self-loathing, even) it would be fair to expect that such a triumphant period as this would instil at least a modicum of confidence and pride. The startling opening title track of Pale Green Ghosts certainly suggests so – its imposing synths recall John Carpenter’s soundtrack to Assault On Precinct 13 and instantly signal a clear break with Grant’s musical past. Indeed, the choice to produce the album with Gus Gus’ Biggi Veira (now Grant’s fellow countryman following his relocation to Iceland) rather than continue Queen Of Denmark’s collaboration with Bella Union bedfellows Midlake suggests a bold and assertive step forward (particularly given that Grant’s history must have made it tempting to play it safe.) If the move into electronic music is unexpected, it proves to be inspired – Pale Green Ghosts positively brims with widescreen vigour while the buoyant kiss-off of Black Belt seems destined to turn Grant into an unlikely floor-filler. Sensitive New Age Guy, seemingly about a didactical drag queen who “had a deeper understanding of the state that we are in”,  is equally infectious and is carried along by one of Grant’s most appealingly blithe vocals to date.

My review is up at the link above!

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts