France’s Team Ghost are pure musical hyperbole, the collision between precision beats, wave-upon-wave of collapsing guitar lines, and an overture of cold-sober electronica. It shouldn’t really work, but in the skillful hands of its creators the transformation is like a scorching sonic dawn breaking the ice after a long, hard winter. “It’s a mix of all my influences: electronic music, post-punk and pop music,” explains the band’s central composer and performer, Nicholas Fromageau, modestly downplaying his ambitions.
The roots of the project go back almost a decade. As the co-founder of M83, Nicholas was a big part of what many still consider to be their best record, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. He left that band and his hometown of Antibes shortly after its release and headed north to Paris, eventually hooking up in 2007 with childhood friend and multi-instrumentalist Christophe Guerin. Producer Jean-Philippe Talaga—the former manager of M83—joined later and the central band unit was complete.
It took another two years for the trio’s experimentation with sound and production to fully blossom. A considered and slow approach to releases has seen their sole two EPs win acclaim from blogs and broadsheets alike. Nicholas’ lyrics in particular have been singled out for their emotionally overwrought themes and are partly responsible for the NME’s labeling of the band as ‘cold-gaze’. “Most [of my lyrics] are about melancholy, feeling lonely, missing someone, etc,” Nicholas says, “but I'm quite a funny guy in real life!”
Ahead of their debut long-player, which drops later this year, the band’s numbers have been fleshed out with Benoît de Villeneuve (the producer of their second EP) now an integral part of the creative and live unit alongside new bassist Pierre and drummer Felix. Go see Team Ghost live and you’ll also be propelled into submission by just how much more loud and relentless they are than on record—Mogwai-like walls of sound compete with one another to create an emotionally numbing experience—not for the sensitive of heart or hearing!
Nicolas Fromageau, Christophe Guérin, Benoît de Villeneuve, Pierre Blanc, Félix Delacroix