PREMIERE: Ghost Camp - Ganymede

Kelly Kirwan

Chances are, the name “Ghost Camp” will trigger a childhood memory—a soft book cover perhaps, with a dripping green font signaling R.L. Stine's trademark series, Goosebumps, haunting middle school children near and far. Only now it’s become a double entendre, serving as the letterhead for New Brunswick-based foursome whose latest single, "Ganymede," previews their sophomore album.

Ghost Camp has broken down their sonic taxonomy as a brand of witch-punk, shoegaze, and new-wave, and "Ganymede" serves as a link among all three genres. It opens with an extraterrestrial synth, as if it were a radio signal sent into space from a spiraling USS Enterprise. Then the familiar countdown of clacking drumsticks comes in, as the beat transitions into a more earthly rock blend pulsating under deadpan vocals. It has a late-'80s, early-'90s sense of deja vu throughout.

Quickly, we hear a pattern emerge in the lyrics—they’re sharply written but with staggered, similar-sounding syllables, as if Ghost Camp were reciting a straight-faced incantation—an appeal to our galaxy and how our fragile sense of identity fits within it. (Ganymede is Jupiter’s largest moon). "Ganymede"’s chorus clues us into Ghost Camp’s grand design, "The light I used to see / Is coming up from underneath / And who I used to be / Is washed into the sea." It's a repeated stanza which mimics a planetary orbit—habitually occurring, but each time signaling a new stage.