INITIAL SPIN: LUSITANIAN GHOSTS Exotic Quixotic LP
by Walter Price
After my initial spin, I can immediately say that the just-released LP, ‘Exotic Quixotic’, from multi-cultural collective Lusitanian Ghosts, is unlike anything else you’re going to experience. Sonically, this 10-track set is at the crossroads of sophisticated and lush folk, pop, and rock n roll. But not in the way you may be thinking. As the outfit tongue-in-cheek reminds us that, “no six strings were harmed in the making of this record.”
To further explain this one-of-a-kind alt-pop offering, a post on the band’s Bandcamp guides us through its making, “It’s all Chordophone violas from Portugal, namely the viola Amarantina, Braguesa, Campaniça and Terceira, played by the Lusitanian Ghosts collective including Neil Leyton (Canada/Portugal), Micke Ghost (Sweden – the first Swede to play the viola Amarantina!), Vasco Ribeiro Casais aka OMIRI (Portugal), Abel Beja (USA/Portugal, viola Terceira from the Azores), João Sousa on drums (sometimes replacing the snare with the Portuguese square drum Adufe) and Jan-Eric Olson on bass. But not just bass! Janne borrowed O Gajo’s viola Campaniça for some extra dark licks. Chordophone rock n roll, Alt-Folk, Urban-Country-Folk, however it gets labeled what should come across are the humanist messages in these songs.”
This novel approach to production and beautiful lyrics allow for the vibes of Orbison, Chapin, Bowie, and the Finn Brothers to pilot us through this LP’s broad and emotionally picturesque soundscapes. Without using to much standard review hyperbole, this album is undoubtedly exciting and powerful. A fantastic journey that’s far beyond what alt-rock and pop fans are accustomed to.
To take a line from the closing track, “Live the Flea / Levalopan”, these ten vignettes are here to soundtrack this new roller coaster of life we’re trying to traverse. Kudos to all involved in bringing ‘Exotic Quixotic’ to existence. It’s a rarity that an album has such an instant impact, this one does, it’s an absolute gift.
LUSITANIAN GHOSTS Exotic Quixotic
+ live at Forum Luisa Todi
Article cover artwork by Alexandre Alonso
Neil Leyton: Lead vocals
Mikael Lundin: viola Amarantina, backing vocals, bass, Mellotron, viola Campaniça. Lead vocals on Exotic Quixotic and Hometown.
João “Johnny” Sousa: drums and Adufe
Vasco Ribeiro Casais: viola Braguesa
Abel Beja: viola Terceira
Jan-Eric Olsson: bass and viola Campaniça
All Songs by Leyton / Lundin
Published by Lusitanian Music Publishing
Recorded at Clouds Hill Studios, Hamburg
Engineered and Mixed by Sebastian Muxfeldt
Produced by Neil Leyton and Mikael Lundin
Mastered at Soundgarden by Florian Siller
Cover Illustration by Johan Lindberg Brusewitz
“Lusitanian Ghosts features ancient Portuguese chordophones and other European string instruments, promoting ancient sounds in the 21st Century…Re-casting these heritage folk violas into rock n roll songs, the artist collective writes from a socio-political perspective on building a better world, creating songs from and for the heart and the mind.” – band bio