I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep by Ghostpoet

Just at the point that we need a sombre yet spirited soundtrack for dark times ahead, Obaro Ejimiwe announces his fifth Ghostpoet album. Presented as a meditation on anxiety and where society is headed, I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep was written, recorded and produced by Ejimiwe himself, and features guest vox from Art School Girlfriend and Delilah Holiday. 

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I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep by Ghostpoet
3 reviews. Write a review for us »
8/10 Tommy WM 29 April 2020

Though the skies are grey and bleak today, Ghostpoet’s latest album ‘I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep’ is begging for a further night-time listen. It feels isolated, sparser, more rural and more abstract than his past work, as though he’s been studying soundtracks, Lynchian tales, and immersing himself with old horrors. His fifth album touches on many genres and styles, but never commits itself to any in particular. Sure, his spoken word prose mixed with dark electronics and syrupy beats sport a trip hop influence, but this record sounds as if an inebriated The Invisible Girls were playing a set at The Bat Cave. It’s the furthest excursion of the sound which Ghostpoet emerged with to date, and it’s certainly his moodiest, bleakest and most anxious.

The atmosphere is unshakably forlorn from the get-go, as ‘Breaking Cover’ discloses fearful thoughts as if he’d experienced an apocalypse premonition, bleeding into a siren sound in the opening moments of the claustrophobic ‘Concrete Pony’. The sparse instrumentation only increases in potency and volume in certain moments, allowing breathing room and attention to be drawn to for Ghostpoet’s morose prose. The chords and basslines are often reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ more lethargic moments or Trent Reznor’s scores, the brooding atmosphere and deep percussion conjures These New Puritans, and the grinding goth rock guitars of the late 70s and beyond are strewn throughout. Woody double bass meets a thorny guitar line which matches Ghost’s voice and hushed backing vocals on ‘Social Laterations’, whilst ‘Humana Second Hand’ impresses with its string work which alternates between tap dancing plucks, forlorn bows, and Penderecki stabs.

On my last few reviews, I’ve mentioned the lockdown/outbreak and its uncertain nature on pretty much every one of them. This album goes a step further and could be said to be its unofficial soundtrack. Ghostpoet penned this with the political uncertainty of the then approaching 2020s in mind, and now his disturbing revelations have climbed to dizzying new heights.  

10/10 Lisa Customer rating (no review), 15th October 2020
9/10 Wayne Customer rating (no review), 13th May 2020



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