The expression ‘You can never go home again’ comes to mind when listening to ‘Ghost Town’ by Rod Coote. This stripped-back folk song captures the feeling of returning to a place you once called home and no longer being a part of it. Using the idea of a ghost haunting a place, he draws on his own experience of leaving his sleepy rural hometown and returning years later to find he no longer slots in.
While the single was originally about this feeling of displacement somewhere you are used to, it has taken on a different meaning with the pandemic. With lockdowns and restrictions in place, the underlying meaning can be transferred to finding more and more places unfamiliar.
‘Ghost Town’ grabs your attention with Coote’s vocals from the start. His voice has a smooth timbre that lightly draws you into the song. His performance has a sombre vibe to it while being packed with a range of emotions. There is a reflective feeling at times that turns into something a little sadder as you realise that surrounds which should be familiar no longer are. On the chorus, his vocals soar for an immersive listening experience.
The melody resting below the vocals is a wonderful mixture of folk and indie-pop. The fingerpicking of the opening sends you into the tone of the track, but the melody has a slight increase in tempo for the chorus. This adds to the soaring feeling of the vocals. There is a driving beat that melds with some electronic productions that come to light closer to the end.
Rod Coote captures the feeling of the familiar becoming less so when you return in ‘Ghost Town’. Coote’s vocals are emotive and immersive as he draws you into the tale. The melody is stripped back, but there are other elements from indie pop and electronic production.