The Ghost of Joseph Buck released a new single titled “Observatory” on Friday, September 18, and an album titled Until It Ends on Friday, October 9.
The new album is the band’s first LP and comes in the form of an introspective road trip from The Great Plains to the Southwestern deserts of the U.S. by infusing thoughtful instrumentation and subdued vocals with guitar and spaghetti western-influenced trumpet solos. The album was recorded at The Keep Recording Studio in Denver, featuring stories inspired by the lives of those who wandered and found themselves between hope and hopelessness.
The new single “Observatory” consists of a narrator who watches warplanes fly across the sky from a mountain topped by a forgotten observatory. The song additionally alludes to the possibility of a wishful life beyond the Earth.
The Ghost of Joseph Buck initially began its roots when guitarist Joe Franzen and vocalist and keyboardist Polly Beck met in the early 2000s, quitting their jobs and traveling to South America later getting married and traveling the globe while taking in musical influences. Joe and Polly later got together with friends and bought bassist Stephanie Schooley who played in a youth orchestra growing up an upright, for her 30th birthday.
The band’s trumpeter Christine Palmer utilizes her master’s degree in trumpet performance to the band, while drummer Tony Corona provides a keen ear and music production background. Joe writes most of the band’s music while Polly collaborates from time to time, bringing her own tunes to the band’s setlist. The band’s sound has evolved into a mashup of Calexico, Giant Sand, Cat Power, Ennio Morricone, Big Thief, and Cowboy Junkies with musical backgrounds in rock, classical, folk, and classic country with influences from travels at home and abroad.
As quoted in Hey Reverb, “The Ghost of Joseph Buck peppers simple yet strong music with Western motifs like a barroom piano, stand up bass, and mariachi horns but also bring along the ballsiness of rock with guitar moments that almost cross over into hard rock… All this talk about the West will likely lead you to expect something specific, but The Ghost of Joseph Buck do well avoiding outright nostalgia and cliche. The West is an inspiration, a launching point, and not a handbook for the band’s music.”