Written by Eli Sulaiman
Dark Days and Canapés is unlike any album I’ve listened to. It’s got a very dark, somber and gloomy sound all throughout the album. Each one of the tracks were more of a sprechgesang than a song, which is very strange but it was different and for that, I gave it a chance. If you listen closely, Ghostpoet (Obaro Ejimiwe) is highlighting some very important issues. Plus, what better way to address our modern-day social and political turmoil than with music.
I can imagine that some might find this kind of album too bleak, or it just doesn’t make sense because it’s not what music sounds like on the radio, but this album is supposed to be gloomy. It’s exactly how it should be. Ghostpoet humanizes the misfortunes of refugees, he mentions our toxic social media habits, the downfall of empathy for one another, and covers most existential problems. Ghostpoet’s album enables us to feel the chaotic events of today rather than coming across headlines and skimming through articles.
The album starts off with Ghostpoet groaning in One More Sip (I’d say the groan is the epitome of all our sufferings). The groaning is then interrupted by rattling percussions and eerie, metallic piano chords. The vocals then begin to intensify the uneasiness and this mood persists throughout the album.
Immigrant Boogie is about “a first person account of a difficult journey across borders, partly intended to ask those who have questioned the arrival of refugees in recent times what they would do in the same situation.” He wrote the song in a way that “aims to capture a broader human truth: that while we are all working for a better life for ourselves, we have to accept that we are not in control of the outcome.”
A personal favourite of mine and a song that I think hits us all close to home is Dopamine If I Do. It’s an exploration of modern isolation. Our ability to connect with thousands of people at once gave birth to a new kind of loneliness. Ghostpoet says, “I wrote this one for the struggling minds, trying to make sense of an ever-increasingly technologically connected, but lonesome world.”
The oddity of the songs may place you in an uncomfortable position, especially with the eerie singing and instruments but I feel the peculiarity we receive from this album is a good thing. Dark Days and Canapés creates an ambience of each of the issues he focuses on and it makes us feel the discomfort, the uneasiness.
Check out Dark Days and Canapés below: