Warm Ghost
Warm Ghost is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 alternative music group based on the multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 Paul Duncan who specializes in eclectic sounds from a variety of music genres and who has a background is sound design
Sound design
Sound design is the process of specifying, acquiring, manipulating or generating audio elements. It is employed in a variety of disciplines including filmmaking, television production, theatre, sound recording and reproduction, live performance, sound art, post-production and video game software...

. Duncan teamed with Oliver Chapoy and records music under the moniker Warm Ghost in 2011. The sound of the group has been highly eclectic with comparisons to numerous genres and groups, including Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode are an English electronic music band formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex. The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan , Martin Gore , Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke...

 among others. In 2011, Duncan got a record deal with Partisan Records
Partisan Records
Partisan Records is an American independent record label based in Brooklyn, New York. It was started in 2007 by Ian Wheeler and Tim Putnam. Their first releases were an expanded version of Holy Sons Decline of the West and The Standard's fifth studio album Swimmer...

 after recording several albums on the HomeTapes label. The group is notable for positive attention from avant-garde music critics.

Duncan was born in East Texas
East Texas
East Texas is a distinct geographic and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.According to the Handbook of Texas, the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red River in north central Lamar County southwestward to east central Limestone...

, but studied sound design in Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is the largest city and the county seat of Chatham County, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Established in 1733, the city of Savannah was the colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important...

, before moving to Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

 and then Brooklyn, New York in 2003. He collaborated with artists including multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 Oren Ambarchi
Oren Ambarchi
Oren Ambarchi is a multi-instrumentalist who in major plays electric guitar and drums, with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. He was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969 to a Jewish family originally from Iraq....

, Joe Stickney of Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven
Bear in Heaven is a Brooklyn-based rock band formed by Jon Philpot. The sound of the band incorporates influences from psychedelic music, electronic music, and krautrock....

, cellist
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

 Fred Lonberg-Holm
Fred Lonberg-Holm
Fred Lonberg-Holm is an American cellist based in Chicago. He relocated from New York City to Chicago in 1995.Lonberg-Holm is most identified with playing free improvisation and free jazz. He is also a composer of concert works...

, David Daniell
David Daniell (musician)
David Daniell is an American guitarist and composer active in experimental music, improvisation and electroacoustic composition.He has been active with the trio San Agustin since 1996...

, Doug McCombs
Doug McCombs
Douglas McCombs plays bass and guitar with the instrumental rock band Tortoise and leads the instrumental band Brokeback. He is also the longtime bassist for the rock band Eleventh Dream Day.-References:...

, and others. According to one report, Duncan worked as a singer songwriter for groups such as Tortoise
Tortoise (band)
Tortoise is an American post-rock band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1990.-Music:Tortoise's almost entirely instrumental music defies easy categorization, and the group gained significant attention from their early career. The members have roots in Chicago's fertile music scene, playing in...

 and Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear (band)
Grizzly Bear is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band, composed of Edward Droste , Daniel Rossen , Chris Taylor and Christopher Bear . The band employs traditional and electronic instruments...

 and collaborated with "top-tier musicians". He plays numerous instruments including guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

, bass
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

, Rhodes
Rhodes piano
The Rhodes piano is an electro-mechanical piano, invented by Harold Rhodes during the fifties and later manufactured in a number of models, first in collaboration with Fender and after 1965 by CBS....

, melodica
The melodica, also known as the "blow-organ" or "key-flute", is a free-reed instrument similar to the melodeon and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole,...

, synths
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

, glockenspiel
A glockenspiel is a percussion instrument composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone; however, the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, and making it a metallophone...

, drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

s, percussion, and harmonica
The harmonica, also called harp, French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, is a free reed wind instrument used primarily in blues and American folk music, jazz, country, and rock and roll. It is played by blowing air into it or drawing air out by placing lips over individual holes or multiple holes...

 as well as recording and mixing songs and singing. He has taken a capella folk pop harmonies from the group Mountain Man
Mountain Man (music group)
Mountain Man is an American singing trio of young women described as indie folk rock with a traditional Appalachian-type folk sound. They are notable for earning critical acclaim from numerous music critics...

 and turned it into "electropop." There is no consensus about what genre best describes the band's music, but it has been described by various reviewers as chillwave
Chillwave, sometimes also referred to as glo-fi, is a genre of music whose artists are often characterized by their heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines....

, electropop, alternative or indie folk, goth rock
Gothic rock
Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes...

 and others.

Music reviews

Reviews of Duncan's music and the Warm Ghost sound have been mostly positive. Reviewer Todd Burns in Stylus Magazine described Duncan's music as "overwhelming pleasant" that was "a small slice of acoustic bliss, backed by warm organs and a belief in the type of listening that takes place over months, not cursory minutes." Burns wrote that Duncan was "first and foremost a sound designer" rather than a "lyrics writer." Reviewer Peter Funk in PopMatters found Duncan's album Be Careful What You Call Home to be "unselfconscious and organic" with "gentle tempos and melodicism" mixed with "layered electronic effects" and "found sounds." Christian Carey in PopMatters described Duncan's music as "alt-folk" in an "appealing sound world" of "documented eclecticism." Reviewer Joshua Love in Pitchfork wrote that Duncan's music departed from the chillwave
Chillwave, sometimes also referred to as glo-fi, is a genre of music whose artists are often characterized by their heavy use of effects processing, synthesizers, looping, sampling, and heavily filtered vocals with simple melodic lines....

style of artists such as Neon Indian
Neon Indian
Neon Indian is an indie electronic band from Denton, Texas. The music is composed by Mexican-born Alan Palomo , also known for his work with the band Ghosthustler and as the artist VEGA. The band's debut, Psychic Chasms, has received many favorable reviews, including the designation of Best New...

 and Washed Out
Washed Out
Washed Out is the stage name of the American chillwave musician Ernest Greene .-Career:In June 2009, Greene graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina and was unable to find a job as a librarian...

 because of Duncan's "sternly romantic voice" which helps give his music a "general smeary, indistinct aesthetic, which is possibly its most alluring strength." A review on Weird Fishes described the Uncut Diamond album positively with "smooth vocals" with songs that are "beautiful and perplexing." Reviewer Brad Knain in Hybrid Magazine described the Uncut Diamond album to be an "electronic treat" that "sounds almost like samples from Bladerunner mixed with The Breakfast Club soundtrack." Reviewer Andrew Duncan from ZapTown Magazine wrote that the music was a "full sound of delightful synth delicacies that never over-cooks a style." A review in ALTsounds described the music as "psychedelic electronic dream pop" which was driven by Duncan's vocal talent. Reviewer Noel Murray in the A.V. Club described Duncan's third album Above The Trees to be a mix of "swooping strings with the rootsiness of banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

 and steel guitar
Steel guitar
Steel guitar is a type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument. Developed in Hawaii in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a steel guitar is usually positioned horizontally; strings are plucked with one hand, while the other hand changes the pitch of one or more strings with the use...

." Reviewer Stephen Deusner in Pitchfork described Duncan's singing in the Trees album as a "low, wounded voice (that) barely registers the swells and fades of the music." One slightly negative review from Erick Sermon in Music Nerdery described the Uncut Diamond album as an "An experimental clusterfuck of synth pop, cold wave
Coldwave, also written as Cold Wave, is the French variant of Dark Wave, gothic rock and post-punk music, primarily spread in France, South Belgium and Romandy.- History :...

and electronic sounds." Reviewer Joe Tangari in Pitchfork described the album Be Careful What You Call Home as "subtle" with a "pleasant sensation" which "sucks you back for more spins" and hooks you on the third or fourth listen.


  • To an Ambient Hollywood on the label Hometapes (Miami), 2003 (by Paul Duncan)
  • Be Careful What You Call Home, (2005 by Paul Duncan)
  • Above the Trees, 2007 (by Paul Duncan)
  • Uncut Diamond, 2011, Partisan Records

External links

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