LISTEN: John Grant's 'Pale Green Ghosts'
By Jerry Portwood
John Grant has recently collaborated with Sinead O’Connor, Rumer, and Hercules & Love Affair, as well as having his music featured in the award-winning film Weekend. Now based in Iceland, Grant named his latest album Pale Green Ghosts after the opening title track, which according to the Bella Union website, "documents the drives that he’d regularly take through the ‘80s, from Parker to the nearby metropolis of Denver, to the new wave dance clubs that have inspired the electronic elements of Pale Green Ghosts, and later on to visit the boyfriend—the ‘TC’ of Queen Of Denmark’s ‘TC & Honeybear’—that inspired many of that album’s heartbreaking scenarios."
“I’d take the I-25, between Denver and Boulder, which was lined with all these Russian olive trees, which are the pale green ghosts of the title: they have this tiny leaves with silver on the back, which glow in the moonlight,” Grant explains in a new bio. “The song is about wanting to get out of a small town, to go out into the world and become someone and made my mark.”
The disco-house album is emotionally intense, dealing with sex, sexuality, and growing up "in a religious environment that ostracised gay men" with Grant singing on the song "Ernest Borgnine" about being HIV-positive.
Watch the video for the title track below. For a free download of the track, "Black Belt," visit Stereogum.