Hardships to harmonies are the story behind Ghost Town. Like so many other active artists, it’s been almost impossible to avoid the effect of the pandemic and this album was not immune to that either. Fortunately, High Planes was able to harness this energy in a positive way to help shape a new sound.
Since the band’s start in 2016 and debut release, Mayday, the following year, High Planes has evolved away from traditional bluegrass instrumentation to include an expanded lineup and a broadened repertoire that varies from beautiful, quiet finger-picked pieces to rolling country songs.
Ghost Town was recorded over most of 2021 in a less-than-conventional way as the full band had very few chances to write and record together. With Christian Caldarone heading up sound engineering for the first time, sessions were done with only one or two members at a time. Christian states that “beyond the technical aspect of tracking, by far my favorite part of the process was working with everyone individually on developing parts. I loved sending progress tracks to everyone so the band members could hear songs being revealed session by session.”
Blending both female and male vocals, High Planes incorporates rich storytelling and autobiographical chronicles on Ghost Town. The first single from the album is “Season For The Ghosts” – a melancholy song that comments on the world we don’t know and the life of a clairvoyant. A video for this song was made by videographer/photographer, David Lawlor, and was met with very high regards from fans receiving comments such as “[f]lawless…gorgeous and timeless” when it premiered in February.
To showcase the diversity of Americana sounds on Ghost Town two other singles are scheduled prior to the full album release. These are “Undone,” a song with a classic country feel and ripping guitar solo any telecaster enthusiast would love, and “Interstate Interior,” which harkens back to earlier High Planes songs with Annie Jaehnig’s beautiful voice leading in front of a shuffling contemporary bluegrass tune.
High Planes is a band of veteran musicians that includes members of The Lincoln Tunnel, The Agents, Steadystate, Emerald Comets, and Sharks Come Cruisin’. The performers on Ghost Town are Christian Caldarone (vocals + acoustic guitar), Annie Jaehnig (vocals), Greg Johnson (viola), Jason Layne (piano), Frankie “Ranks” Moniz (electric guitar), Jeremy Sencer (bass), and James Toomey (drums) with additional guest appearances by session players Paul Dube (accordion); Joe Lusi (harmonica), and Paul Yates (piano).
Ghost Town was recorded by Christian Caldarone at The Watertower in Lincoln, RI. Jon Downs (The Brother Kite / Hasty Maids) assisted with production, vocal recordings and overdubs; and mixed the album at The Overpass in Attleboro, MA. Mastering was expertly handled by Justin Perkins (Screeching Weasel / Tommy Stinston) at Mystery Room Mastering in WI.
Ghost Town by High Planes is set for release on April 15th, 2022 via Where The Living Room Used To Be. It will be available on lathe cut 12” vinyl, limited edition CD with 6-panel all-over-print wallet and 12-page booklet, high-resolution digital download on Bandcamp, and on all streaming services.
On Friday, April 29th High Planes will be celebrating the release of this album at Askew in Providence with Bank of Ireland and Allison Rose opening the evening.