As the school year comes to a close it is with a mix of joy, wistful memories and a hefty amount of stress as classes finish and summer begins. But lest we worry too much, “I’d Rather Be Ghost Hunting” is the album that can accompany us all as finals quickly come upon us and summer almost quicker. “I’d Rather Be Ghost Hunting” is the latest album from Athens, Georgia based Four Eyes, the project name for solo artist Erin Lovett. This album is essentially a folk album but, as most successful albums do, it blurs the lines with effortless skill, incorporating a number of broader sounds and influences. The album conjures memories and youthful pain like the best emo albums, but also experiments with other sounds, like that of a banjo creating a unique experience.
A strength of the album is the witty and wry lyricism from Lovett, who demonstrates a unique and impressive knack for capturing a wide array of emotions in a compact amount of words. A good example of this is the opening track “Clever Songs.” The sparse guitar strumming highlights her ability to tell intricate stories through just her vocals. For instance, in the opening lines, “I know that you like clever songs. Well I guess this isn’t one /
We tried to think of something better for ourselves, and instead we fell in love.”
The words are essentially simple and introspective but the openness and frankness depict a complex mood with nuance that comes off as effortless which is part of why Lovett’s songwriting is so masterful.
The song “Neon Light” incorporates a banjo in such a way that, were it to be much louder and with more yelling, could undoubtedly pass as an emo song. Some emo sounding lyrics from the song include: “How’d I get so worn down? / Like pennies crushed out on the tracks showing our reflection back, / Where the year once was engraved we left a shining, empty space.”
But having these lyrics performed in a folk-type setting makes the music more appealing to those that would shy away from more angsty emo music, so in that way, Four Eyes embraces a wider audience who can enjoy the mellow music as well as the open display of emotional lyrics.
Now if I were to pick a favorite song I might have to go with “Superhero Movies,” which is the shortest song on the album at about a minute and a half, but has what sounds like a glockenspiel, so how could it go wrong? It is also the most upbeat song on the album and offers a pleasant beacon of hope for anyone who relates to the more melancholy mood of the rest of the album. Also, the description of love is certainly unique: “You got me riled up like superhero movies do to superhero movie fanboys at midnight.”
One could say that Lovett is doing rather innovative work, mixing folk, pop and emo. I wouldn’t say her style is radically new or unprecedented but I would say that her approach to the “sad folk” genre is somewhat redefining and certainly comes from a unique perspective that rewards repeated listen of an album that spans a number of emotions and moods, and does so with a pleasant relatability that welcomes all.