There are often times when I could line up all the sensitive Canadian singer songwriters in the world and beat them soundly with a Kevlar reinforced three day old herring until they stop wearing their hearts on their collective sleeves. Today, however, is not one of those times. Ghost Lights is the trading name for Canadian singer songwriter Noah Cebuliak and he has managed a notable degree of laconic misdirection with his mini album “Saltwater”.
It does, of course, help that he has avoided drawing on the accursed Americana for his inspiration as, instead, he has followed the path of eloquence both in his lyrics and in the subtle arrangements of his songs. There is more here than an acoustic guitar and a check shirt with the end result being more Jesse Colin Young than Nick Drake. The title track, for instance, uses a minimal vocal harmony to lift the song onwards and upwards while the subtle – there’s that word again – use of horns in “Babble From A Beehive” adds an ethereal feel that suitably supports MR Cebuliak’s laidback voice.
“Saltwater”, therefore, is something of an anachronism in a world of derivative three chord shouters and Ghost Lights, or rather our Mr Cebuliak, demonstrates a maturity beyond his years aligned with a feel for the mellow and the mellifluous that does not obscure the fact that he has heart and soul.
This mini album is available from Bandcamp.