ALL HALLOWS’ EVE beckons, yer common or garden Hallowe’en: the evening when spirits roam abroad as the year tips towards dark and the good and wary and chaste huddle round the fire. Día de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead, ain’t far off either – just a day or two away.
The timing is certainly on point, then, for Alberta’s Evan Uschenko, aka Ghost Woman, to drop a low-tempo, spectral slice of garage rock – maybe best listened to while cruisin’ the foggy highways in a ’58 Plymouth Fury.
Having cut his teeth playin’ for others, such as Michael Rault, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Jacco Gardner, Evan retreated to the southern Albertan prairies, set up a makeshift studio in an abandoned farmhouse, locked himself away with instruments and the means to capture them and let all the tunes and the catharsis and the personal bugbears spill out in a haze of booze and smokes. (Hey, we covered the raw punk-blues of earlier single drop “Demons” here).
Today he’s got the classic AM radio burner of “Do You” for your delectation, bluesy garage, dripping with echo, brooding, down ‘n’ just a little dirty like a modern-day Shadows of Night. Cracker.
Evan explains: “For the last EP I had just ended a long-term relationship and I was young and angry at heart; but after this I settled into a new life and explored more mature emotions, learning a lot from what happened and thinking there’s no need to be angry anymore.”
As for that on-the-fly studio come retreat out there in the prairie where these tunes were birthed – well, Evan won’t be going back to the old house, as he explains.
“We couldn’t go back to the farmhouse cause half of it burnt down. We managed to salvage our gear, but it was all waterlogged and smelt like smoke – it was a weird omen to stop hanging around there.”
Expect more to come from Ghost Woman next year; he’s signing off on ’21 for now.