I have no idea how I have not heard of Jukebox the Ghost until this past week. Seriously, this is a band that I should not only have heard of before, but should be a hardcore fan of by now.
A three-piece alternative rock/pop band native to Washington, D.C. and based in Brooklyn, Jukebox the Ghost has released three albums since 2008 and are frequently on tour, playing upwards of 150 shows a year. Reasons why I should have heard of them well before now include the fact that they have toured with and opened for bands I have long been a fan of, like Jack’s Mannequin and Ben Folds.
Jukebox the Ghost does something I absolutely love. They write very upbeat, happy music that makes you smile and want to dance around in your underwear (come on, you still do it!) But when you catch a line and really pay attention to the words they’re singing, you find out that it is in fact a really dark song.
I have this habit of listening to really upbeat music and not paying close attention to the words, because most of the time I’m either cleaning my house like a madwoman or working and have it on in the background because my brain likes to be kept busy. I was listening to the song “Somebody” and wasn’t paying attention until I heard the lines “I don’t want any more heartbreak / I’m tired of the sound it makes.” And with that, they had me. I started the entire song over and they had my undivided attention from beginning to end.
Love accounts for our highest highs and our lowest lows. It’s what all the great novels, movies, and songs are written about, so when a band or a poet or a novelist or a screenwriter gives attributes like sight, touch, taste, or sound to love, it brings about some very unique imagery that I appreciate.
“Somebody” and “Oh, Emily” are the first two songs on Jukebox the Ghost’s latest album, “Safe Travels.” I highly suggest you give the entire album a listen. You won’t be disappointed.