Shadowy duo Fool’s Ghost place focus on inner turmoil, nagging obstacles on ‘Dark Woven Light’

We tend to veer toward music that’s about the human condition, especially when it centers on darkness and struggles that make our very existence a lot to take sometimes. Probably why I listen to a lot of folk music. For a long time, expressing your sorrow or showing vulnerability was a pox in heavy music, but as time has gone on and people (well, some of them) have grown up, that has changed.

While they might not be what you’d immediately think of a heavy music, Fool’s Ghost are making their way through downtrodden times and emotional turmoil on their debut record “Dark Woven Light.” A duo comprised of vocalist/keyboardist Amber Thieneman (Liberation Prophecy, Sandpaper Dolls) and Nick Thieneman (Young Widows, Breather Resist), the band unfurls songs that feel like they originate in the shadows and only come out at night when it’s the easiest to send haunting chills down your spine. Recorded in their hometown of Louisville, Ky., with Kevin Ratterman (which makes sense as he worked with like-minded acts such as Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle), the band produced 10 tracks that likely aren’t going to damage your hearing, but it’ll creep into those spaces where you keep all the things that weigh down on you mentally in order to provide some soothing partnership.

S“Epilogue” starts by slowly trickling into the scene as keys glaze and Amber sings, “The evening twilight fades away.” The track moves gently but assuredly with the vocals and music blending into time. “Golden” has guitars awakening and buzzing with the music glimmering and creating sunlight beams. “Everyone and no one is listening,” Amber notes as the song builds its strength, and murky melodies bow out in the night. “Touch” shimmers in the moonlight as the playing echoes, and Amber calls, “I just want to feel your touch.” Warm drumbeats amplify the sorrow as the longing spreads, and the song echoes out. “Fugue” takes its time setting up its ambiance as Amber urges, “Moving, keep moving, sink or swim.” The nighttime vibe is thick and sparks your brain while the track rumbles into the earth. “Chasing Time” quivers and moves in slowly, letting its wings unfurl. “I want to break my body to see my bones, what I’m made of, will I ever know?” Amber laments while the music pays the mystery nicely, later tripping with keys and guitars trembling.

“Sparked” moves directly as Amber calls, “Don’t give up and don’t give in,” before the track moves to a chorus that’s as punchy as anything on here. The vocals just soar as melodies mesmerize, putting emotional pressure into this gutsy song. “All Hours” has keys dripping slowly and the song takes shape while the guitars glide and gloom thickens. The chorus is thick and rich as Amber wonders, “Why do we break each other’s hearts?” The track moves through the ether as the chorus moves, and everything fades to black. “In Between” has ominous tones opening as the keys spread and Amber notes, “Dream of you by day, hopes are high.” Guitars slide and immerse while the darkness envelopes, and the song retreats to its hiding place. “Shut Away” is blusier and dirtier as drums awaken, and the power starts to open. “I’m not fine, you’re not fine,” Amber warns while the song crawls slowly, and then the chorus opens. The band lands some punches along the way before the embers burn off. “Ghost Heart” is your closer, and it brings with it some of the tenets of the opening track. Piano drips as Amber delivers softer words, calling, “We’re slow to learn from the stillness within.” The idea resonates as the playing, like a ghost, of course, brings everything to a final rest.

Fool’s Ghost is a band whose music might actually work better in the fall, when the days are darker and colder, and your heart is at its most impacted. Not that “Dark Woven Light” doesn’t work just fine now, because it’s not like heartbreak and mental wounds take a break when the sun is shining, so you can be assured these songs won’t abandon you. This is music that allows all of us who have our moments of weakness and need to find solace a chance to bask in the same shadows.

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