If nothing else, ongoing advances in technology have ensured that musicians as talented as Atlantan guitarist Jared Leach are more able to realise their lofty creative ambitions. Ghost Medicine is essentially a solo enterprise, with some valuable assistance from Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin on bass, vocalist Sara Hoefer and drummer Scott Prian, but this is no bedroom project. Instead, Discontinuance is a vivid and rich journey through modern progressive textures and moods, all underpinned by Leach’s imaginative guitar work.
There are moments, particularly on the mellifluous Shiver, when Hoefer’s voice conjures faint echoes of The Gathering circa If Then Else, and a dreamy, shimmering wall of guitars points to an unapologetic love of Floyd, but Ghost Medicine shrug off such comparisons through the sheer fluidity of Leach’s ideas. Elegant and dynamic in equal measure, the likes of sprawling opener Crooked House and the beautiful Desert Spring sound like Nick Drake’s ethereal vision filtered through the bluster of 21st-century prog, while the thunderous Departure manages to be heavy while still exhibiting a lightness of touch. A stunning debut.