Galapaghost released its self-produced album I Never Arrived earlier this year. Recorded in Italy, the album shows classical influence in the intricate acoustic guitar work. The layered vocals, creating a Simon & Garfunkel effect, are also notable. What really makes this album shine is how all of the elements come together to create a sound all its own.
The acoustic guitar begins every song off in I Never Arrived, with the exception of “The Secrets our Body Keeps,” which begins with the electric guitar. The beautiful intricate guitar work displayed in this album is stunning. Right off the bat, with “Mazes in the Sky”, listeners get hit with gorgeous acoustic guitar picking that continues to be a theme throughout the album. For example, towards the end, “Goodbye (My Visa Arrived)” pairs brilliant guitar picking with a twangy electric guitar that’s suiting for the somber track.
Another notable feature of the album is the layered vocalization. Beginning with “Mazes in the Sky”, we get introduced to two sets of male vocals. The first is a softer, higher voice and the second is more of a deeper baritone one. Together, they create a classic Simon & Garfunkel sound that proves quite soothing. For many of the other tracks, the deeper, crisper voice stands alone (“Salt Lake CIty”) or immediately enters in with the harmonizing set of vocals (“Science of Lovers”).
Many of the tracks take on a more eerie tone. “Science of Lovers” is a great example of the harmonization taking on a creepier effect. In particular, the melismatic “Ahhh”’s that the harmony intersperses throughout the track adds a certain level of eeriness–think modern day Gregorian chant. “I Never Arrived” also has a similarly brooding sound. Here, the instrumentation makes the track sound darker with the acoustic guitar/ piano combination that is also met with spacey effects. The meditative lyrics of “I Never Arrived” also add an extra level of melancholy, with lyrics like “Can I/ be who I used to?”. The tracks are in great contrast to the few that are abundantly more hopeful, namely “Bloom” and “Somewhere.”
It’s interesting that Galapaghost thought to add “Somewhere” followed by “Bloom,” adding in more cheery tracks close to the end. “Somewhere” starts off the mini-hope train with a more peaceful acoustic guitar and piano combination. “Somewhere” is a very hopeful song, with the chorus repeating “Somewhere/ you’ll arrive/ Somewhere/ the sun will rise.” “Bloom” kicks it up one notch further with a bit of whimsy. For the first half of the track, the lyrics tell a tale of jealousy and pressure, while everyone else is finding deep success. The turning point in the song begins with the lyrics “But I’m happy for you/ Everything around me/ and everyone around me/ is in bloom.” The next verse depicts beautiful moments within the speaker’s own life, leading up to the final lyrical climax of a slower, self-realized repetition of the above chorus.
Overall, I Never Arrived is a calming album, filled with many beautiful elements. I highly recommend checking Galapaghost out. —Krisann Janowitz