Reality Anonymous is the brainchild of Lyn Vaus and the debut album The Ghost Host, Vol. 1 features contributions from Rob Myers (Thievery Corporation), Alex Rowney (Soft Candy), and Kenthany Redmond (Kenthany Redmond’s Infrared Quintet). This is an interesting, ethereal, melodic and oddly soothing album to begin the year with. Think, if you will, of R.E.M. mixed with Joy Division-esque vocals, some minor Doors-isms and angular songstructures. A sparse House Of Love, if you like.
What I consider the “conscious detatchment” of Mr. Vaus’ vocals is the key ingredient as to why this album works. The perfect starting point is “I Love Her Everywhere”, a sort–of psychedelic jazzy pop piece that you can’t help but be enveloped by. Enigmatic yet charming, it’s the appetizer for the other songs. “The Rest In Peace”, which closes the album is an (appropriately) eerie track that has a nice, tight groove, which makes sense, as “Neti Neti (I Lost My Context Lens)” is the album’s wonderfully weirdest moment – I love the use of the reverbed guitar, subtle backwards loops and drone – like a great lost Rain Parade song (editor’s note: I think this may be my favorite track from this collection!).
“Bathhouse Frieze” is a very ’60’s “cool jazz”/”Euro”-type number with tastefully hip flutes and a poised delivery; “Out Of Nowhere” is one of the two most “poppy” of these songs and – at moments – made me think of my beloved Teardrop Explodes; “Dot” is murky and mysterious; “Happy Moments” is the other “pop” moment – upbeat, with a neatly off-kilter sort-of chorus and “Lyric Bride” is an epic moment; 6-plus moments of hypnotic sounds – this is the start of an acid trip, minus the chemicals…
Sixteen songs is very generous – a lot to choose from, feast on and digest. And as I said, this is an unexpected delight to begin the year with for a new release.
The Ghost Host, Vol. 1 is currently available.