All words: Eliza Cro Day
All pictures by: Jarryd Hans Tiltman
There’s a turning in the grave of the scene’s soil and it hits you in the chest, taking you 6 feet under and then uplifting you through honest, heart-rendering dark, synth, pop poetry.
I’m talking about Lo-Ghost, the Cape Tonian electronic duo who I recently had the privilege of chatting to after watching them play live twice in one week. Evan Strauss and Shannon Devy make up the outfit and do it all together, from vocals to beats and songwriting chemistry.
Being a little witchy myself, the name interested me. Yet, it means nothing and everything, as summed up by Evan, ‘This empty vessel you can fill, with whatever it ends up being’, something that Shannon muses over about the infinite possibilities of electronic music; as unknown and as unexpected as their own sound.
Shannon explains about the logo, lighting shooting out of a pair of magic hands, (a ‘sigil’ if you will) implies the essence of the band, ‘There’s a little bit of mysticism in the whole idea. I think the hands for me symbolise magic and creativity and we use these hands to make these things in the world and there’s something vital about that.’
We chat about how they’ve collaborated in the two short years they’ve been together with the likes of Felix Laband, Angel-Ho and K-$ and then when I ask about who’s next they simultaneously light up and make excited noises, ‘Pure for one!’ Says Shannon, ‘That was extremely exciting’ agrees Evan. They’re talking about the truly magical African goddess, Pure who had shared the bill with them at Surfa Rosa for the Braai Day shindig.
‘We were actually discussing the other day how this very moment in the industry feels very exciting, more exciting than it’s felt in a long while because there are so many hot, hot, hot acts operating right now. It’s both inspiring and ‘Jeez like, you’ve got to get your shit together, ‘cause these guys are kicking your ass!” Exclaimed Shannon
Evan elaborates, ‘Albany Lore lately, Emerges, Floors EP last year was also out of this world – that’s just Cape Town side in our small electronic niche.’
Now let’s talk about touring. Go Evan: ‘It’s something we are trying to build, wrapping up our foundation phase and from now we’re transitioning into an area where we’re really happy with the music we’re creating and how it’s being presented.’
‘We’re busy working on another album…’ Shannon hints.
Evan tells me, ‘It’s a process we’ve been in for about nine months now and we’ve got tons and tons of material and now we’retesting it out live to see what works and what doesn’t work.’
‘This will be our second full-length album and I think it’s a really cool moment for us because we’re starting to settle into a sonic signature that we’re really happy with,’ says Shannon, ‘This is starting to sound like both of us. There are two ways you can do it: You can sit at home and work on your own for years and then one day feel like you’re ready or you can just put your shit out and learn as you go which we think is best because that’s the way you learn the most.’
On a further note with this next album, I ask what themes we can look forward to because if you’ve listened to anything they’ve done before, powerful notes were hit, especially in regard to the causes behind the LGBTQI community.
Shannon replies, ’Somebody commented on a Facebook post of ours which I probably thought was the most profound summation of our work. It was a post to tag a friend to come to the show and this person responded, ‘Ja, Ons, Ons, Cry, Cry’ and that’s totally it! When we met, Evan and I were not in very good places with regards to our mental health and very quickly this project became a catharsis and by the end of the EP and definitely by the end of the album we were feeling loads better. I do think this next body of work is going to reflect us .’
This is a band that brings so much honesty and fresh production to the table, to the dance floor, to even this interview. These artists are to take note of and when I say ‘artist’, I mean that in every sense of the word.
Follow Lo-Ghost on Socials: