Ghost-Ship, by Jake Down and the Midwest Mess, was a surprisingly pleasant change of pace from the brooding acoustic folk scene. The influence isn’t too over the top or overbearing, and Jake Down and his crew throw in a nice mix of banjo, harmonica and slide guitar over a slow acoustic guitar.
Lyrically, it’s a very somber EP, but there are underlying elements of hope throughout. As many folk writers do, Down focuses on brokenness and being lost and tired, ultimately being carried on by an undeserved love and grace and the promise of peace from God. While a majority of the short EP is slow, “Autumnal Equinox” brings a hint of the upbeat, throwing in a little electric guitar to go along with the acoustic guitar and harmonica.
While the EP has been released through digital outlets, Ghost-Ship can also be bought as a 7” vinyl LP, which would be interesting to hear how the sound changes when played through a record player. But for it’s length and style, Down and the Midwest Mess turn out a fresh EP with a listenability that does exactly what an EP is supposed to do: make you want more.