Considering the many productive years ahead of him as an artist, we won’t quite call Ghost in the Western Trap Matt Geary’s magnum opus, but it very well might end up reaching that height when his career is all said and done.
Today is your first listen to the album, seven songs that skillfully intertwine post-hardcore musicality with orchestral minimalism. It aligns with Geary’s expansive approach to music, which he has been developing and reinventing over the last decade. With complex ideas and a highly experimental approach, he effortlessly contrasts the light and the dark, experimenting along the way and delivering vast and ambient soundscapes.
Describing the album, Geary calls it “A commentary without words.” Expanding upon this point, he says:
“I like people to find their own meaning but ultimately this album was made during a time when some of my loved ones were dealing with some serious addiction issues. I began writing it around 2014 and before I knew It, I didn’t have enough fingers to count how many people I know or friends of people I know overdose on heroin. This whole album is a reflection on what families go through when their loved ones are in the grips of addiction.”
It’s been a fascinating era of his creative life for the Philadelphia-based Geary as he has written and recorded this, his debut full-length record. It has been a labour of love for the artist, as he has started and stopped, changed courses, and reformulated his approach too many times to count now. The actual time period it has taken to record Ghost in the Western Trap has been just about five years, but as he mentions, he first started work on it all the way back in 2014. It’s difficult to watch people you care about burn out or fade away, and the associated impacts stretch very far and very wide.
Each song on the record taps into a different mood that pushes the narrative forward. They are all very immersive in their own way, which is no surprise given the time and focus Geary put into this. A deliberation on love, suffering, companionship, resilience, and empathy, Geary has taken a fearless approach to this record, bearing his soul as a work that he holds very close to his heart.