The Dream of the ’90s

Charles Peterson 2015

The eldest of the three talented women from Portland that comprise The Ghost Ease might have entered kindergarten in 1991, the year that Nirvana’s mainstream breakthrough album Nevermind was released.

To grow up in such times is to associate the surging distortion fields and clobbering rhythms descended from baby boom-era hard rock as a generative norm, a natural and familiar place from which one makes the excursions that become the content of a life.

The self-produced video for “Gemini Rise” released by the band this Halloween is driven by occult reflections on the experience of life in transition, from some place beyond the world, into the present conditions earthlings share.

Inevitably, the journey is related as a series of metaphors. In this telling, we spin through a homey vocabulary of spiritualism and visceral effects: circles of candles, crystals changing to numbers in a musician’s mouth, red ‘jelly rolls’ stitched and ruptured that cue the arrival of a strange figure.

Jem Marie described her vision like this: “The song is sung from fetal perspective. Inside of the womb, I reflect on the heavy hardships that await me in the life ahead. I’m hesitant to come out, but by song’s end I follow through with the choice I made to surrender to this incarnation, to embark on the lessons to be learned and to make a positive difference in the world somehow.”

The Ghost Ease approach their work without guile. There’s no winking. There’s no joke to be let in on. No dumb fun they need to show themselves to be smarter than. They are simply blasting back the world as they found, it in the metaphysical frame of music.

Photograph courtesy the author.