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Album Review: Holy Ghost

Shannon Christensen, Writer

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On May 13, 2016 a small four-piece rock band called Modern Baseball put out their third full length record, “Holy Ghost.” Modern Baseball was originally started by two high schoolers Jake Ewald and Brendon Lukens in Brunswick, Maryland after meeting at a party. After graduating, the duo moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while they each attended different local Philly colleges; Lukens to Chestnut Hill College and Ewald to Drexel University. While in Philadelphia, the two recorded and released their first album, “Sports,” and found a bassist (Ian Farmer) and drummer (Sean Huber) to join the new band.

By 2016, the band had put out two records and multiple EP’s with other known bands in the rock scene. “Holy Ghost” was written by the band in early 2016 and they had purposely tried to be more personal in their writing. The album opens with a short one-minute song entitled “Holy Ghost”, where Ewald talks about his grandfather and how his passing affected Ewald and his family. The first half of the album consists of six songs written and sung by Ewald, and the last five songs are written and sung by Lukens. “Holy Ghost” is unique in this way, where you are getting life perspectives from two different artists who listeners can relate to.

With the great reception from listeners, the fans can also agree that their sound has changed in a certain way since their last record, “You’re Gonna Miss it All.” Junior Leanne Villareal (18′) considers herself quite a fan and shared her opinion on the album by stating, “I actually have mixed feeling about the new album. From what I’ve heard it’s a little different from their former albums which I’ve fallen in love with so it’s definitely a different voice.” Even though their sound has viewed to change, fans still love Modern Baseball and their songs. “It’s still very catchy and something that I see myself listening to. It surprised me that they kind of changed their sound, but I still love the band and the members and what they have to say,” Villareal states. 

Much of the album was formed from personal situations whether it was about a relationship or battling a mental illness. One of the reasons Modern Baseball is viewed as such a great band is because the people behind the music are real people that fans can connect with. In the last song of the record, “Just Another Face,” Lukens sings a lot about his mental illness struggles, as he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder just months before writing the record. The album mixes a fair amount of singing about girls to losses to mental illness in a way where it can reach everyone.

Overall the record was great musically and very intimate in a way to help people going through similar situations. I highly recommend this record to anyone who loves connecting to music or who may be going through something tough in life. Modern Baseball did not disappoint in this new album and we have high hopes for the next announcement. The band also released a documentary online shortly after the album came out about their personal connection to their music and the making of “Holy Ghost.” You can watch the documentary here and listen to the new record or any previous ones on Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify, or Apple Music.

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
Album Review: Holy Ghost